Work has started on site to create a five-storey independent living facility for young people, on Bolton’s Deansgate.
The £6.1m Bolton Y-Pad is being led by the Bolton and Blackburn branches of the YMCA and the scheme has been designed by Preston-based architecture studio Cassidy + Ashton, which is also the project manager.
The building is intended to replace the Bolton YMCA’s existing home on the site and create a new base for the community. The facility will house a drop-in centre and 40 self-contained one-bedroom apartments for young people aged between 18 and 25.
As well as providing the opportunity for young people to move out of supported accommodation and foster care and become more independent, Y-Pad’s ground floor is planned to house the YMCA Bolton’s youth services division Bolton Y-Zone and operate a food bank.
Demolition of the YMCA’s existing premises has commenced and is expected to complete in March, while the main construction work is due to start in April. The project is scheduled to complete next January, with Walter Carefoot & Sons Construction appointed as the main contractor.
John Shepley, chairman of trustees at YMCA Bolton, said: “The YMCA on Deansgate has a long and enviable record of working with and supporting the Bolton community.
“However, for some time now the trustees have recognised that the existing building was not best able to meet the changing needs and demands of our local community. The existing building had become an increasing drain on our limited financial resources, so we needed to change and adapt.
“It has taken us several years to reach this point, but without doubt this marks a new era for YMCA Bolton and the board to look forward to new, exciting times ahead.”
Alistair Baines, Cassidy + Ashton’s chairman and head architect on the project added: “It has been a real pleasure to be involved in such an important and much needed facility for Bolton. We chose a contemporary, aspirational design for the building, taking into consideration features and materials that reflect the same flavour and architectural language as the surrounding historic buildings.
“In addition, by incorporating large, glazed areas and the use of modern materials, we feel the new building will offer a light, spacious facility and a welcoming environment for young people to realise their independence.”
Cassidy + Ashton has been involved in several other YMCA projects, most recently the redevelopment of the YMCA Lakeside school facility at Lake Windermere in Cumbria.