Bath-based charity the Genesis Trust say they are delighted to have been granted planning permission by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s planning committee to redevelop a building on Walcot Street.
The charity, which helps homeless and vulnerable people in Bath has never had a permanent base in the city and has worked out of a series of temporary buildings for over 20 years.
The premises were transferred to the charity by Bath & NE Somerset Council via a community asset transfer last year.
A major programme of refurbishment is needed and Genesis has ambitious plans for its restoration.
The building, to be called the Genesis Centre, will comprise training facilities, a workshop, a smart retail shop and staff offices. The retail shop, which will sell bespoke upcycled furniture that has been renovated by clients, will blend well into Walcot Street’s eclectic mix of shops and businesses.
The training centre will assist clients to gain new skills and engage in work experience to prepare them for employment, further study or volunteering opportunities in the community.
The planning approval has come in the year that Genesis is celebrating 21 years of working with disadvantaged people in the city of Bath.
Founder and Chairman of Genesis, Sir Peter Heywood, said “we are very excited to have been granted planning permission in our anniversary year.
“This building will enable us to help many hundreds of vulnerable people in Bath to move forwards in their lives through personal programmes of training, meaningful activity and work experience.
“We are very much looking forward to becoming part of the vibrant Walcot Street community .”
The new development will cost £1.1m. In May, the charity will officially launch the Genesis Next Step appeal which will be led by Appeal Director Dr. Alan Kerbey.
He said: “We have been thrilled by the level of interest and support for this project from the Bath community. Our fundraising activities are on track and it is hoped that we will reach our target figure by the end of the year.
“The new Genesis Centre will be of strategic significance in terms of placing the organisation in a position where it is able to make a step-change in the number of people it helps.”
The charity hopes that building work will commence early in 2017.
Sir Peter concluded: “The development of the Genesis Centre will also help the charity to support the work of the hundreds of volunteers who make all our projects possible. It is their skills and enthusiasm that are the basis of all that we do.”