Emergency shelter for rough sleepers in abandoned Northampton social club gets the go-ahead

Northampton Borough Council's plans to set up an emergency shelter in a St Andrews Road social club have been approved. Picture is posed.
Northampton Borough Council's plans to set up an emergency shelter in a St Andrews Road social club have been approved. Picture is posed.
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Proposals to turn a didused social club into an overnight emergency shelter for rough sleepers were approved by Northampton Borough Council's planning committee last night.

Work can now begin to set up a temporary shelter in the former British Rail Social Club, on St Andrew’s Road.

However, in the long term the building will become part of a project to "celebrate Northampton’s heritage," according to a borough council spokeswoman.

In June, more than 30 agencies pledged to work together to tackle rough sleeping in Northampton as part of the "together we change lives" strategy, which aims to bring the number of rough sleepers down to zero by this time next year.

Cabinet member for housing and wellbeing, Councillor Stephen Hibbert, said: “Providing an emergency shelter is incredibly important because by creating a safe place for people to go in a crisis we will eliminate the need for anyone to sleep rough in our town.

"Although the provision will be quite basic, there will be a whole host of additional services available so that we can provide people with the support they need to get their lives back on track. Once someone walks through the door, they will not need to walk back out onto a life on the street.”

It is hoped that the shelter will open in November.

If you are concerned about someone who is sleeping rough in Northampton or is at risk of sleeping rough, contact the borough council’s outreach team: 01604 837344 or outreachteam@northampton.gov.uk.