Work is complete on a £2million residential scheme near Headingley that is the first of its kind in Leeds, and will house people who are homeless and recovering from addictions, as they prepare to live independently.
Regent Lodge is owned and operated by Leeds charity St George's Crypt, and provides 14 self-contained studio apartments for residents with alcohol dependency issues, in Hyde Park.
The scheme was designed by Brewster Bye Architects, built by Galliford Try (Yorkshire) and developed in partnership with Leeds City Council, which provided low cost loan facilities as well as financing 30% of the capital costs through its Right to Buy Replacement Programme.
The charity has been supported by a group of experienced property professionals who are behind St George’s Crypt Development Company, which was set up to support the development of homes and community facilities for homeless and disadvantaged people throughout Leeds. The company’s board is chaired by Alison Oldfield, a partner at Eversheds Sutherland, and includes Mark Henderson from Brewster Bye Architects, Jonathan Morgan from city living specialist Morgans and Joel Owen from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Chris Fields, CEO of St George’s Crypt, said: “Moving towards a more inclusive, person centred model, working with clients to ensure the service they get is fit for purpose and aimed at their individual needs will, we hope, give them a steady foundation to move away from a destabilising past. At the end of the day, we want people to become alcohol free, productive members of the community, and this project will go a long way to achieving that.
“This is a state-of-the-art building where people will feel valued and supported, so that they can ma
ke positive life choices, become equipped with the tools they need to reintegrate with their community and succeed personally. We can’t thank the city and our supporters enough for joining us on this journey, and this is only the first step on our path to giving Leeds citizens a watertight safety net.”
Mark Henderson, from Brewster Bye Architects, said: “It’s taken a huge amount of planning, tenacity and persistence to develop Regent Lodge and finance it through the Right to Buy Replacement Programme, and everyone involved is absolutely delighted to see work complete.
“This development will now make a big difference to so many people, giving them a home, rather than a hostel bed, which will significantly improve their chances of getting back on their feet and living independently.
“Following this success, we’re now already working on another project, consisting of 24 apartments, in New Wortley, where we hope to start work on site later this year.”
St George’s Crypt is based below the thriving church of St George’s in Leeds and has been at the frontline of support for homeless, disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Leeds and its surrounding areas since 1930.