Peterborough building society applies to create hostel for Ukraine refugees above its branch

Peterborough building society plans hostel above city branch.

By Ben Jones
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 5:01 am
The Leeds Building Society on Queen Street.
The Leeds Building Society on Queen Street.

Leeds Building Society, which has a branch at 2 Queen Street in Peterborough city centre, has sought permission to temporarily change the use of its upper floors to provide a hostel for Ukrainian refugees.

The floors have been vacant for at least the last 15 years and were last in use as barristers’ chambers.

It has been proposed to enlarge an area to the northwest of the first floor to create a large communal living area; along with seven bedrooms, shared bathrooms, kitchen and dining areas and an office; enough to house between 7 and 14 individuals.

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The hostel would be managed by Hyde Housing, one of the UKs leading providers of safe accommodation. Tenants would be decided by The Peterborough Asylum and Refugee Community (PARCA); who will ill source and vet the refugees to occupy the facility.

The application states that PARCA would seek to ensure PARCA seek to ensure that refugees, asylum seekers, and disadvantaged and migrant communities are provided with the support and services they need to ensure a high quality

of life, and allow them to contribute to Peterborough’s community. They would also choose people who are from the same part of Ukraine and who already know each other, to help refugees to settle in and build a sense of community within the facility.

In March, Peterborough City Council unanimously passed a motion to acknowledge the situation in Ukraine and pledge to offer whatever support the authority can. A taskforce was established and committed to housing 200 refugees.

Richard Fearon, Chief Executive of LBS said: “At Leeds Building Society we are proud to harness the power of the community to help those less well off. We help people to achieve home ownership ambitions, give them a secure place for their savings and make a positive contribution to society as a whole.

“My colleagues and I have been deeply moved by the suffering of families affected by the war in Ukraine and taken significant steps to address this humanitarian disaster.

"We’ve also looked across our buildings to see how we can support families coming to the UK. Above our Peterborough branch, there are two floors of offices with separate access which we’re seeking permission to turn into safe, comfortable accommodation for refugees.”