Work starts to transform former Thetford school into homeless facility

The Elm Road Centre in Thetford. Pic: Archant Library.

The Elm Road Centre in Thetford. Pic: Archant Library. - Credit: Archant

Work to build a temporary accommodation unit to house the homeless and vulnerable has started in Thetford. 

Breckland Council has started the redevelopment of the former community centre, on Elm Road, to convert it into an accommodation facility for up to 35 people.

The build of a temporary accommodation unit to house the homeless and vulnerable has started in Thetford.

The build of a temporary accommodation unit to house the homeless and vulnerable has started in Thetford. - Credit: Breckland Council

Councils across the country have been reporting a rise in demand from people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.  

This new resource will help Breckland Council meet that demand, while reducing the need to use alternative sites, such as hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation, to temporarily house residents.

Paul Claussen, executive member for planning at Breckland Council, said: "I am delighted to see the building work start to take shape in this valuable new community resource, which will mean we can offer high quality temporary accommodation support when people need it most.  


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“This project is just another way we are helping support our vulnerable residents, having already ring-fenced more than £1m for projects which will help those who have experienced domestic abuse, mental health problems, drug and alcohol addictions, and homelessness.” 

When opened, the facility will be managed by the district council’s housing team and provide expert support, advice and high-quality temporary emergency accommodation for single adults, couples, and families from Thetford and across Breckland.  

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The work is being delivered by Cocksedge Building Contractors and is expected to be completed before the end of the year. 

The build of a temporary accommodation unit to house the homeless and vulnerable has started in Thetford.

The build of a temporary accommodation unit to house the homeless and vulnerable has started in Thetford. - Credit: Breckland Council


Darren Reeve, Cocksedge building contractors commercial manager, said: “We are delighted to have been selected by Breckland District Council to deliver the new temporary accommodation unit at Elm Road.  

“The facility will provide a valuable resource for local people when they find themselves in the most vulnerable of situations. Our team have made a positive start with early demolition work for the remodelling and building alterations.  

“We will be working closely with the local community to ensure impact of the work is minimised.  

“We will also be using local SME’s within our supply chain wherever possible to assist with localised business recovery as we move out of Covid restrictions.  

“The project will also prove valuable for training for our in-house apprentices who will be provided with supervised work experience as the project progresses.” 

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