Former school to become homeless support hub in £1.7m revamp

Breckland Council has announced that it is creating a modern temporary accommodation unit in Thetford for people in the...

Breckland Council has announced that it is creating a modern temporary accommodation unit in Thetford for people in the district who require emergency housing. - Credit: Breckland Council

A run-down community building is set for refurbishment, as part of a £1.7m project to provide emergency accommodation to support the homeless. 

Breckland Council has announced that it is creating a modern temporary accommodation unit in Thetford for people in the district who require emergency housing. 

The council is redeveloping the former day unit, on Elm Road, and converting it into an accommodation facility for up to 35 people.  

The work is due to begin later this month, led by Cocksedge Builders, and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.  

The project will cost £1,797,388 altogether, including the cost of Breckland Council buying the building from Norfolk County Council, which took place in 2019. 

The new facility has been designed to house single adults, couples, and families from Thetford and the wider Breckland district.  

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Breckland Council will also be working with other public sector partners to provide support to people using the site and help them back into permanent accommodation.  

Councillor Paul Claussen, executive member for planning at Breckland Council, said: “This major investment in a key service will mean we have even more high-quality temporary accommodation support available to some of our most in-need residents, including those who have been made homeless or need short-term support while they find a permanent place to live.”  

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“This is just another way we are helping support our vulnerable residents, having ring-fenced more than £1m for projects which help survivors of domestic abuse, residents with mental health problems, drug and alcohol addictions, and homelessness."

The new resource will help Breckland Council meet the demand for emergency accommodation, while reducing the expense and need to use alternative sites, such as hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation. 

Terry Jermy, councillor for Thetford Burrell Ward, added: "I have fond memories of this site having attended pre-school there. 

“I have campaigned for it to be put to good use and converted into something that is of benefit to the local community and I am delighted that work will now get underway.  

“It has been sat empty for too long and it has been a concern for local residents.  

“I look forward to this more purposeful use and welcome the investment in the area. The new facility will provide much needed supported for local residents" 

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