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03 Feb 2021

Peel L&P’s vision for city centre land set to become a new community to help Manchester’s homeless

Peel L&P has provided land beneath 22 railway arches in Manchester rent free for 40 modular homes to be built to help reduce homelessness in the city and support people into permanent housing, secure jobs and independent living.

The regeneration business has worked with Manchester-based charity Embassy and developer CAPITAL&CENTRIC to help turn its vision for a piece of land in the city centre into a new community with wrap-around support to help break the cycle of homelessness.

The Embassy Village, run by Embassy, will be built from repurposed shipping containers located below the railway arches between the Bridgewater Canal and River Irwell in the city centre. The public consultation on the plans starts today (3 February 2021).

It will provide safe, secure homes for people who are homeless or at the risk of being homeless with in-house start to end support and routes into work. Vulnerable people are housed and then surrounded by the support and training they need to leave the cycle of homelessness.

Alongside high-quality homes, the Embassy Village will include a Village Hall, which will become a community hub and training and mentoring facility for residents, a communal outdoor space with plenty of greenery, a multi-use sports area, space to grow vegetables as well as external eating and socialising areas.

James Whittaker, Peel L&P’s Executive Director of Development said: “It’s been a real joy and a privilege to bring together the business community to help create our vision to deliver a special project to reduce Manchester’s homelessness by transforming our land beneath some railway arches in the city into much needed housing for the homeless.

“We’re delighted to partner with Embassy, a charity who will make a huge difference in helping vulnerable adults to obtain better lives through their restoration programme by getting them into housing, employment and independent living.

“We’re proud to be able to provide the land for this new community and we would like thank the generosity and support of everyone who has been involved in this project to bring this vision to fruition. We hope to gain further support needed at the public consultation.”

Sid Williams of Embassy said: “The pandemic has come down hardest on the most vulnerable in society with homelessness rising across the city. Our approach is to provide housing, rather than a shelter, where residents are offered all the support they need to get back on their feet. We triage and interview everyone we work with and only those who are ready and willing to work are offered accommodation.

“We provide them with their own front door, help them find work and crucially teach them the life skills they need to become independent and start contributing to society again. We’re so grateful for the generous support Peel L&P and CAPITAL&CENTRIC have shown us, as well as all the other companies who’ve made this project possible.”

Tim Heatley, co-founder of social impact developers CAPITAL&CENTRIC and Chair of the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity said: “We’ve worked with Embassy for the last few years, helping them to get the original bus off the ground, but we’ve always had the vision to create something more permanent that gives people their own front door. Making sure it’s really high quality, with communal areas like the village hall and sports area, has been dead important as we want the future residents to be proud of their community.”

Plans for Embassy Village are being launched amidst the closure of dormitory style shelters due to lockdown and social distancing measures, and growing concerns across frontline charities that there will be an increased need for homelessness support and temporary accommodation services as a result of the pandemic.

At the village, the charity’s team of resettlement workers and volunteers will provide wrap-around support and work with residents to equip them with a range of life skills from budgeting, cooking and laundry to soft skills around socialising and teamwork. The self-contained site will be managed 24/7 by Embassy’s experienced team.

Embassy’s training and mentoring programme is also being designed to boost residents’ work readiness through job search, application and interview support. The charity plans to build on its successful track record of helping residents to resettle into secure long-term accommodation and find routes back into work by collaborating with local employers.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Meeting the growing demand for emergency accommodation to support people vulnerable to homelessness is a major challenge – particularly at this time of year when the number of people asking for support, particularly people sleeping rough, is at its height. Developing a Housing First opportunity in the city is welcome and I hope this type of community has the potential to provide life-changing help for people facing homelessness in Manchester."

Have your say

To have your say on the proposals, visit the Embassy Village website and complete the online questionnaire.

Or you can send your comments via email or post:

Embassy Village Project Team,

Planning – Deloitte Real Estate,

2 Hardman Street,


M3 3HF

The consultation closes on 18th February 2021.