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Refurbishment Work Starts At Hostel In Watford

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Willmott Dixon Interiors has started construction work has on the refurbishment of One YMCA's Charter House hostel in Watford.

The company has been appointed to remodel three floors within the existing building, creating 34 new rooms for rough sleepers.

The national fit out and refurbishment specialist contractor will also deliver new training, engagement and activity space to provide people with the skills to come out of homelessness and unemployment.

New facilities will include a full height feature residents lounge and gantry, new commercial kitchen with extended dining spaces and a residents training kitchen. The building will also benefit from a new cafe, computer room and quiet space.

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Willmott Dixon Interiors will allocate a minimum of 5% social return on investment of the project value, through activities including work experience placements, apprenticeship opportunities, mentoring, careers advice and health and wellbeing initiatives, such as cooking classes.

The contractor will also deliver support for local enterprises and work alongside One YMCA in providing training for homeless young people throughout the duration of the project. Local residents will be given free access to Willmott Dixon Interiors’ Building Lives Academy, which provides an opportunity to secure construction-based qualifications.

One YMCA said its investment in Watford will bring an estimated half a billion pounds of social value and savings to the local public purse each year, by reducing the significant costs of homelessness to the town.

The charity aims to move people into the new units from as early as July 2021.

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