New lease of life for derelict flats

Emply flats in North Shields earmarked for refurbishment.
Emply flats in North Shields earmarked for refurbishment.

Derelict properties are to be transformed into homes for young people.

The partnership between LandAid and Shaftesbury will see the derelict flats above a row of shops in North Shields turned into nine studio flats.

The £117,000 proect, run by YMCA North Tyneside, aims to provide a stable environment for vulnerable young people who might otherwise be forced to live in cheap B&Bs alongside adult ex-offenders, drug addicts and sex workers.

And with YMCA’s premises on Church Way just across the road, the new tenants will also have easy access to advice and education services as well as facilities including a communal laundry and a gym.

Shaftesbury’s contribution will be used to create three of the flats.

Brian Bickell, chief executive of Shaftesbury, said: “We at Shaftesbury support LandAid’s ten-year campaign to tackle one of the most important social issues of our time – youth homelessness. We are proud to have raised £30,000 for the conversion of two empty flats in North Shields into three new studio flats, providing homes and the prospect of a better future for vulnerable young people.”

Dean Titterton, chief executive of YMCA North Tyneside, said: “You cannot underestimate the return on investment from accommodating a vulnerable young person in a safe and welcoming environment. Combined with the sort of care and support YMCA is renowned for, our young people are able to gain the traction they need to become employed and achieve their other ambitions.”

He added: “We can’t thank Shaftesbury and LandAid enough for their support in helping YMCA to transform the lives of young people in North Tyneside.”