WORKS are continuing on the Fred Winter Centre – Stratford’s new housing plus hub.
The centre – based at the former Fred Winter department store in Birmingham Road – was hoped to open this year, but construction work was paused due to changes in fire safety regulations.
Centre chair Paul Spooner said: “Fire safety regulation have been evolving throughout this project which we take very seriously and which we are responding to. Nevertheless, thanks to a co-ordinated effort with our partners, workers are back on site this week.”
The additional works include improvements to the rear fire stairwells and the fire stair core at the building’s front which is expected to double the protection from fire.
Paul continued: “The changes to the fire regulations have meant that a lot of the completed work had to be stripped out, which had a knock-on effect for the rest of the project from scheduled works to trades, whilst at the same time incurring additional costs.
“I can’t thank our building contractors, Calztec, enough who have been very understanding and brilliant in supporting the continuation of this project.
“We’re almost at the finishing line and anticipate the building opening in the New Year, where we can start to make a positive difference to the lives of local people who face homelessness and hardship.”
The centre and its services will be available to tenants, people visiting or referred to the centre, and those in the community at risk of homelessness or facing hardship.
The hub will provide accommodation to those living in temporary placements provided by Stratford District Council. Those offered a property will have access to onsite support to help overcome challenges and barriers in hope of breaking the cycle of repeat homelessness.