Bristol City Council and 1625 Independent People are creating new homes for young people

5th March 2024

Bristol City Council and youth homelessness charity 1625 Independent People (1625) are coming together to create more new homes for young people in the city. Co-designed with young people, the council and 1625 are partnering to create 8-10 new affordable homes for young people who are ready to live independently.

The new homes are a crucial part of the restoration of the Kingsley Hall, which serves as 1625’s base in Old Market. The Grade II* listed building is currently on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register and is in urgent need of repair and restoration. Now, with the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Bristol City Council and Historic England, the historic Kingsley Hall building is being transformed into a new welcoming place where young people can access training, jobs and accommodation.

In addition to new, energy-efficient housing, young people will benefit from education and training courses, a skills kitchen, and a youth-led social enterprise cafe. Kingsley Hall will provide a welcoming and safe environment fostering meaningful connections between young people and their communities.

The restoration of Kingsley Hall will ensure the historic building is brought into sustainable, long- term use as a safe and welcoming place where young people can overcome isolation, develop skills, and rebuild their lives.

 

Councillor Tom Renhard, Cabinet Member for Housing Delivery and Homelessness, said:

“1625’s innovative Kingsley Hall project helps meet Bristol’s urgent need for high-quality, sustainable housing that connects young people with the opportunities they need to succeed in life. The project brings together partners from across the city including charities, businesses, the council and education. It is a really exciting example of how we are delivering on our One City Plan, so that everyone in Bristol lives in a home that meets their needs within a thriving and safe community.

“I hope this is a project that everyone feels they can get behind given the positive impact it will have for young people in the city. It will also make an important contribution to housing delivery, as we continue to build on the 12,534 homes built in the city since 2016.”

 

1625 supports young people who have had a difficult start in life having experienced family breakdown. The new, high-quality homes, alongside the new facilities and opportunities young people need to develop skills and wellbeing, will provide the next step for young people who are ready to live, and thrive, independently.

 

“Bristol City Council’s support for Kingsley Hall through their affordable housing funding provides vital backing for our city’s young people and builds on our shared ambition that all young people must have a safe home alongside the opportunities they need to thrive”, explains Jamie Gill, 1625 Partnerships Director.

“Young people have been involved throughout the development of the Kingsley Hall project, sharing their expertise, insight and skills so that together we can create a lasting legacy for young people in the city. Through this project, we plan to elevate young people’s voices and contribution in the city, nurturing their strengths and talents so they can believe in themselves and play a part in creating a positive future for other young people in the city too”.

 

Young people have been involved in the design and decision-making at every level, from developing the business plan, to the design and delivery of the restored building. Based in the heart of Bristol’s Old Market conservation area, the project aims to transform young people’s lives by developing their skills, building new relationships, and strengthening their sense of identity and belonging in the city.  The project is bringing young people into purposeful interaction with universities, colleges, local businesses, community groups and heritage organisations.

Young people are working closely with Childs Sulzmann Architects, whose other projects have included the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol Cathedral and the Watershed, to co-design welcoming high quality homes and training facilities at Kingsley Hall.

 

“The 1625 youth board has been a really productive, open, and encouraging space for discussion about the Kingsley Hall project including the floor plans and undertaking photography and research. I have gained insight into new and different ideas and perspectives and learnt about subjects I likely wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to. The youth board will continue to be involved as the project develops, including the building design and project management” 1625 Heritage Youth Board Member

 

1625 will be engaging their neighbours and the wider Old Market and Bristol communities during the coming months ahead of submitting a planning application for the changes later this year.

In addition to the much-needed affordable homes, the project is creating new jobs for local people, new opportunities for learning and skills, and a wealth of ways to volunteer with 1625.

Kingsley Hall was built in 1709 and has been an important landmark at the centre of social change for well over 100 years. Alongside design and delivery of the building project, 1625 are engaging young people in learning from the history of Kingsley Hall and the city, as well as actively participating in shaping a brighter future for young people in the city.

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