A multi-million pound project to create town centre apartment bloc for young people moving out of foster care or supported accommodation to help them develop their independence.

The YMCA is behind the independent living facility in Bolton.

The five-storey building cost £6.1m to develop and is now ready for young people to move in.

Situated at the former site of YMCA Bolton’s drop-in centre on Deansgate, the so-called ‘Y-Pad’ has been redeveloped to contain 40 modern, self-contained apartments so that people aged between 18 and 25 in the borough can gain their independence.

Not only does the Y-Pad provide the opportunity for young people to move out of supported accommodation and foster care, but its ground floor also houses Bolton Y-Zone, which enables the continuation of YMCA Bolton’s youth services.

The Bolton News: Exterior of the Y-PadExterior of the Y-Pad (Image: YMCA Bolton)

YHousing, YMCA Blackburn’s housing management arm who collaborated with YMCA Bolton on the project, has now taken control of the building following the completion of the construction work by Walter Carefoot & Sons.

Andy Drake, chairman of YHousing, said: “We are all facing a cost-of-living crisis but for young people the challenges are even more magnified, so the YMCA’s services and support are more important than ever.”

The first demolition work started on the YMCA’s previous premises at the site in January last year, with the intended completion date originally scheduled for 12 months later.

The Bolton News: Construction of the Y-Pad in June 2021Construction of the Y-Pad in June 2021 (Image: Newsquest)

Managing director at Walter Carefoot & Sons Andrew Cross said: “I am delighted by the end results of this fabulous new YMCA building in Bolton. We have left a legacy for many generations of young Bolton people by providing residencies that have been built with care and skill.”

Design of the Y-Pad was overseen by Preston-based architects Cassidy + Ashton, a process which involved input from young people to ensure their wishes and needs were considered and reflected in the final outcome.

The self-contained one-bedroom apartments each has a kitchen and bathroom.

The Bolton News: Interior of one of the living spacesInterior of one of the living spaces (Image: YMCA Bolton)

Alistair Baines, Cassidy + Ashton’s chairman and head architect on the project, said: “It has been a real pleasure to be involved in such an important and much needed facility and to help bring life to YMCA’s vision for the Bolton community.

“This has been a significant regeneration project in the heart of Bolton’s town centre conservation area. We chose a contemporary, aspirational design for the building, taking into consideration features and materials that reflect the same flavour and architectural language as the surrounding historic buildings.

“By incorporating large, glazed areas and the use of modern materials, the new building offers a light, spacious facility and a welcoming environment for young people to realise their independence.”


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