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Innovative corporate collaboration with KKS Savills: transforming our Manchester Centre into a fit for purpose and environmentally friendly space

  • 3 min read |
  • Posted by Justlife
  • On 01 June 2022

How the Savills team are helping us create a welcoming, supportive environment for people affected by homelessness

Our corporate collaborations help us create change for people living in temporary accommodation across the UK. We are lucky to work with corporate partners who share our vision and who understand the importance of having access to a suitable, secure and permanent home.

Over the last 2 years we have been working with KKS Savills* and the wider Savills team. They have been supporting us to realise our dream of transforming our Manchester Centre into a fit for purpose and environmentally friendly space, where we can welcome and support people who are experiencing homelessness.

Our collaboration began when we were matched through the Landaid Pro Bono Projects scheme. Savills Managing Director, Richard Rees, sits on the Landaid Board and asked his team to get involved. Luckily for Justlife, a team was assembled by Savills around the project including architects, sustainability advisors, project consultants and engineers, all of whom shared their expertise free of charge.

Following a visit to our Manchester Centre, and meetings with key stakeholders, they developed space plan options, a concept design report and a set of drawings that could be used to develop a cost plan. The team engaged with local contractors to cost the project and then value engineered initial prices to keep the project within budget.

Our plans to renovate the Justlife Centre in Manchester

Our Manchester Centre has enabled us to provide much-needed support for vulnerable people in temporary accommodation in Manchester. However, an increased demand requiring more space, increased need for more social interaction and the need to provide a Covid-safe environment has exposed the limitations of our current infrastructure.

The redevelopment of the Centre will convert the one multi-purpose room into a dividable, more flexible space. These spaces will accommodate small group activities and individual support (with private, sound-proofed spaces) as well as allowing us to provide a safer, more supportive space. The improved space will enable us to provide more activities, which people accessing our services are keen on, especially as many have experienced worsening loneliness during the pandemic and are desperate for more face-to-face contact.

We are currently fundraising for the build phase and hope to start the work really soon. When we do, Savills will provide project management together with ongoing liaison with the chosen contractor. Post-build, we will furnish the centre through Savills network of suppliers.

This is a lovely scheme and we wanted to help Justlife make the most out of the space and ultimately make it work more effectively so that they can support the growing number of people in Manchester who are living in unsupported temporary accommodation. Projects like this give me real job satisfaction and working with Justlife has been a delight!

Carl Mitchell, Associate Director of KKS Savills

Justlife is incredibly grateful to everyone who has given so generously of their skills and time. Without you this project would not have been possible, and we can’t wait for the refurbishment of the Manchester centre to be complete!

*KKS Savills is an award-winning international independent design studio, specialising in full service interior architecture and design, development advisory, and workplace strategy for occupiers. Their focus is on the best interests of the occupier, their business and workspace efficiency.