Kier transforms vital facilties for homeless in Gosport
Published by Rebecca Jackson for Kier Services in Communities and also in Housing
£1.2m family centre for homeless
Agnew House, a former sheltered housing complex in Mill Lane, Gosport, has undergone a £1.2m transformation from repairs and maintenance provider Kier to create a vital facility for homeless families.
The new Agnew Family Centre will cater for the borough’s most vulnerable people, providing temporary accommodation for families with a local connection who have become homeless and are waiting to be re-housed.
The project has seen Kier convert 38 flats for the elderly into 55 accommodation units of varying sizes. Each of the one, two or three-bedroom units will have its own WC and bathroom facilities, while all units have been designed by architects, The Martin Ralph Group, to be flexible, enabling the accommodation to be connected to provide larger units as required.
Thirteen communal kitchens have also been provided, each fitted with a hob, oven and fridge/freezer. Further facilities include a communal laundry room, communal bathrooms, a modern new lift and an advanced CCTV and fob key system to provide added security.
Kier has installed a number of sustainable features including photovoltaic cells on the roof providing cheaper communal electricity which will be offset against running costs and service charges. Other energy efficient measures installed to reduce the carbon footprint include cavity wall insulation, substantial roof insulation, new double glazing and a state-of-the-art combined heat and power unit. This will effectively reduce heat loss and reduce the amount of fuel required.
Kier regional director, James O’Donnell, said: “This was a fantastic project for Kier and Gosport Borough Council to jointly deliver this worthwhile facility. The centre will help the local community tackle homelessness while the sustainable elements incorporated into the project will ensure a future life cycle of the building for at least 30 years. We have used the latest building materials and state-of-the-art equipment to deliver a family centre that is both environmentally friendly and a vital resource for local families.”
Upon formally opening the centre, the Mayor of Gosport, Cllr Richard Dickson, said: “As well as providing a far better place for families to live temporarily, we have also been able to help improve and rebuild lives. The Agnew Family Centre will provide greater personal security and more assistance than we have been able to provide at previous locations.
“More staff will be on site and with extra services like tele-care options, a system where technology can monitor for specific needs and alert relevant people; the safety and security of our residents is assured.”