Vermont Construction appointed to build pioneering Embassy Village

CGI of Embassy Village

Liverpool-based construction group, Vermont, has been appointed to built Embassy Village in Manchester, with work set to start later this summer.

So far, £3.8m has been raised to build the pioneering scheme to create a new community for Manchester’s homeless and vulnerable men, with the Manchester business community urged to raise the final £1m to deliver all 40 homes located below the 22 railway arches between the Bridgewater Canal and River Irwell, on land provided by regeneration specialist Peel Waters.

The scheme comprises a housing-led community with a village hall, lots of green space, mini allotments to grow vegetables and a multi-use sports area.

In 2021 Manchester-based charity, Embassy, joined forces with developers Peel Waters, Capital&Centric and a pro bono team across the city’s business community to bring forward the Embassy Village and provide 40 new purpose-built homes.

Funding has already been secured for the first 24 homes following a £3.5m donation from the Moulding Foundation, with Vermont Construction now signed up to construct the village for no profit.

The development was consented by Manchester City Council in 2021, and Sid Williams, of Embassy, said: “To be starting construction soon is a huge moment for Embassy and we can’t thank all the partners and friends that have helped us along the way enough.

“Taking on a project of this scale is unprecedented but Manchester is a pioneering city and we’ve been overwhelmed by the support from businesses and the public to make this happen. We’re nearly there with the funding, following the incredibly generous donation from the Moulding Foundation and also £250,000 from Garfield Weston Foundation and £100,000 from Benefact Trust, but need another £1m to realise the full vision and build all 40 homes.”

He added: “The village will help us re-imagine the way homelessness is tackled in the city, providing a long term and sustainable solution. We’re creating a supportive community where we help our residents into work and get used to managing a home. This means we’ll be able to help four times as many people as we currently do.”

Mark Connor, Vermont Construction Group Chief Executive, said: “Homelessness is a massive challenge and a responsibility for us all to help in solving. Vermont has committed to ensuring the scheme can be delivered and the accommodation available in 2025 for those people that need it most.”

The average time waited in shelters in Manchester and Salford is now estimated at 10 to 15 years for council housing and, even then, more than 50% of those finally housed choose to return to the streets because of loneliness and feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of managing their first home.

The charity’s vision for Embassy Village is to help the city’s most vulnerable men get off the street by putting high quality housing and wrap-around support at the heart of the solution.

The Embassy Housing project is a live dress rehearsal at managing a home. People are housed from day one and stay an average of 14 months. Ninety two per cent of residents have moved on to remain housed – usually with a full time job and no further need for benefits. Embassy is also planning to open a separate facility to help homeless women.

The charity will operate as a housing provider rather than a shelter, with residents having a rental contract at the village from the first day of their stay. The self-contained site will be managed and monitored 24/7 by Embassy staff and strict no visitor rules will be in place to ensure that the village is safe for residents and surrounding communities.

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