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Woodbrooke to offer accommodation to key workers

Accommodation at Woodbrooke is to provide much-needed homes for people such as key workers as part of wider plans to ensure the building continues to serve the community.

Woodbrooke in Bournville came back into the care of Bournville Village Trust (BVT) last year following a decision by the Centre’s trustees to close it.

Since then, Bournville Village Trust (BVT) has committed to securing the best future for Woodbrooke, on Bristol Road South, for the benefit of the whole community.

It has made spaces available in the building for local businesses, health services and community groups to use. And now it will open some of Woodbrooke’s existing accommodation, including 21 ensuite rooms, under a guardianship model.

This model provides security by occupation, taking unused buildings and transforming them into homes for working people looking for short term accommodation. These include people like key workers (for example nurses and teachers) students and self-employed tradespeople.

Victoria Burnett-Rogers, Commercial Property Manager at BVT, said: “We are really pleased to be working with VPS Guardians to open some accommodation at Woodbrooke.

“With two large hospitals and two Universities on Woodbrooke’s doorstep, this accommodation could play a vital role in housing key workers and other working professionals.

“Due to the housing crisis and cost-of-living crisis there are lots more key workers and those on lower wages looking for affordable homes, and guardianship is an excellent way of providing them. It will also make sure that Woodbrooke continues to serve the local community.”

Joelle Nixon, Business Development Manager at VPS Guardians, said: “We are really pleased to be able to support BVT with their plans to make best use of the Woodbrooke site.

“VPS Guardians will keep the site secure and reside on a flexible, temporary basis which is ideal for key workers. Generating social value in the area is something both VPS Guardians and BVT share a passion for as we enable local people to benefit from this kind of affordable accommodation at a time when living costs are at an all-time high and we are navigating a housing crisis.”

Woodbrooke came back into BVT’s care in late December last year following a decision by the Centre’s trustees to close it. Trustees wanted to focus on the Centre’s founding purpose and there were also concerns about falling visitor numbers and high building maintenance costs.

Woodbrooke needs millions of pounds of investment to bring it up to an environmentally sustainable and accessible standard and BVT’s current priority is to invest in improving its existing homes and buildings. This includes spending £7.3m this year on its socially rented homes.

The charity is pleased to see Woodbrooke serving the local community until it can finalise a long-term investment plan. BVT will continue to share updates on Woodbrooke as they become available.

If you are interested in living at Woodbrooke, please contact Shane Walters from VPS Guardians on 07709 514 992.

Bournville Village Trust was founded by George Cadbury in 1900 and is one of the Midlands longest-serving independent trusts and manages estates, provides homes, delivers community-support services and commercial activities.

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