The Knowles House redevelopment in Harlesden will include the construction of two new buildings, providing 92 homes for temporary accommodation and 57 for independent living to support some of the borough’s most vulnerable residents.
The high-quality housing is being provided as part of the council’s Temporary Accommodation Reform Plan, which will result in £130m spent on up to 600 new homes over a three-year period and improve housing for vulnerable residents in the borough. Work is set to commence later this year.
As part of the project, Wates Residential and Brent Council have also made a joint pledge to provide employment and training opportunities for local residents, delivering a lasting legacy for the community.
Commitments could include the creation of apprenticeships in trade and management roles and a Wates-managed ‘Building Futures’ programme for long-term unemployed adults.
Ex-offenders could also be helped into employment through the project as part of their rehabilitation, while partnerships could be made with Brent schools to provide pupils with meaningful insight to the construction sector, career talks and curriculum support.
Everybody working on the project and in the supply chain will be paid at least the London Living Wage.
The Wates Group is well-known to the council, having previously worked with the borough and Quintain on their transformation of Wembley Park.
Paul Nicholls, Managing Director of Wates Residential South, said:
“Wates Residential is proud to have been chosen as the London Borough of Brent’s trusted partner for the Knowles House redevelopment. We are excited to start work on the project, which will provide much-needed high-quality housing for some of the people who need it most.
We will be giving back to the community throughout the process, whether that be through our pledge to improve employment opportunities for local people or our passion to teach the next generation about construction. At Wates Residential, our focus is always on not only creating great homes but also delivering lasting legacies for the community through our investment in employment, training and skills.”
Cllr Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader of Brent Council, said:
“The redevelopment of Knowles House is a key part of our plan to provide better quality accommodation for residents in need of housing, but the benefits of this project don’t end there.
In Wates, we’ll be working with an organisation that understands our values as we seek to ensure job and training opportunities for local residents, particularly for our unemployed, and ensure that everyone involved in the project is paid at least the London Living wage.”