Future of boarded up Pottergate building revealed

The boarded up building in Pottergate which is going to be used as housing for disadvantaged young people 

The boarded up building in Pottergate which is going to be used as housing for disadvantaged young people - Credit: Ben Hardy

A city building which has been gathering dust for months it set to get a new lease of life. 

The former offices in Pottergate will now serve as life-changing accommodation for disadvantaged young people. 

The vacant site next to Norwich Credit Union at the junction of Pottergate and Upper Goat Lane is going to be used for a charitable project overseen by The Benjamin Foundation in partnership with Norfolk Quakers.

Norwich City Council contributed towards the funding of the building.

George Gawlinski, a trustee of Norfolk Quakers, said: "It's been a long project over five years. It is part of an old Quaker house and it was a school then an office.

"It unfortunately got into serious disrepair so we had to think what is best for it. It has been expensive as it is a listed building." 

The boarded up building next to Norwich Credit Union 

The boarded up building next to Norwich Credit Union - Credit: Ben Hardy

It is expected the site will begin welcoming youngsters in January.

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Martin Lacey, meeting house manager for Norwich Quakers, said: "My understanding is that there are discussions with The Benjamin Foundation for flats for children coming out of foster care.

"It will be a halfway house between foster care and independence." 

The building is currently boarded up by Quinn Construction, who are the building contractors for the work. 

A staff member from Quinn, who did not wish to be named, said the windows had been boarded up to prevent vandals throwing bricks at the window with the site being so close to the pavement.

He added: "We did a refurb conversion for the clients and we are now waiting to put tenants in. 

"It makes sense to make sure the place is as secure as possible while no one is living there. As soon as the tenant moves in we will take the boards down.

"I think this is happening throughout the country and The Benjamin Foundation do a number of things to help young people get back into society." 

As part of The Benjamin Foundation's Heart and Home service, the charity works closely with hosts, other agencies and local authorities to provide young people the support they need to become independent.

For more information on the service, visit https://benjaminfoundation.co.uk/

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