Newton Heath 'war veterans village' backed by Manchester City Council

Canada Street, Newton Heath Image copyright Google
Image caption Work on creating the 'veterans' village' will start in September

A "landmark" plan to create a community for war veterans in east Manchester has been approved by the city council.

Manchester City Council said the scheme to bring 25 empty homes back into use on Canada Street and New Street in Newton Heath was the first of its kind.

In the scheme, 62 properties on the two streets will also be refurbished.

It is a collaboration between the city council, BBC One's DIY SOS, charities Walking With The Wounded and Haig Housing, and the Adactus Housing Group.

Manchester City Council said the aim was to create a veterans' housing "village" within the existing Newton Heath community, with disabled access to homes and disabled parking.

A veteran walk-in support and advice centre will also be built as part of the project.

Adactus Housing acquired empty homes on Canada Street and New Street in 2009.

The city council and Adactus Housing agreed to gift veteran charity Haig Housing 25 empty homes to ensure there is the provision of "appropriate, high-quality housing for veterans".

The work is due to start in September with DIY SOS planning to show the refurbishment of eight properties.

Manchester City Council's executive member for housing and regeneration councillor Jeff Smith said: "This project is a timely and practical demonstration of how we can provide support [to members of the armed forces returning to civilian life] and at the same time benefit local residents and the city by bringing empty homes back into use."

He said as well as finding veterans appropriate accommodation, the programme will also provide advice and support including training and education.

Edward Parker, chief executive of Walking With The Wounded, said the project would provide a "remarkable opportunity" for veterans.

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