On Friday 14 September distinguished members from the Leeds community gathered to witness St George’s Crypt laying the foundation stone of its Regent Lodge construction project. This was the official start of a new era for The Crypt and the build scheme is due for completion in Summer 2019.
Regent Terrace has in the past 40 years supported people with alcohol dependency issues. The new Regent Lodge project is fundamentally different from the old site in that instead of single rooms, it will consist of 15 self-contained flats fully supported to help clients get their lives back together, move on and take an active role in their futures.
In his speech, The Rt Hon Hilary Ben MP who laid the foundation stone said:
“The Crypt is known right across the city for the support it has given to those on whom luck and life have not always looked kindly upon since the 1930s when Revd. Don Robins came and turned the Crypt from where the dead lay into a space for the living”.
He added: “In the years ahead people will come here; they will move on in their lives and they will owe a great deal of gratitude to all of you here today who have made this project possible.”
Regent Lodge is part of St George’s Crypt’s ‘From Bench To Independence’ pathway. Service users will be supported to move on from alcohol dependency while training and engagement will help them gain valuable life skills and build self-esteem.
The aim is to meet the needs of everyone in a safe, non-judgmental and caring environment, a place in which people can choose to change.
The project has been identified by LEEDS LIST as one of 10 game-changing developments under construction in Leeds right now.
In her welcome speech Tracey Greig – Crypt Trustee, emphasised the holistic support offered when stating that:
“Often people say St George’s Crypt is a soup kitchen or a bed for the night, but I think, in this new project, we provide more than just a bed. We provide sustainability and hope”.
The innovative project is very much partnership driven, commissioned by Leeds City Council who have leveraged £1.5 million of public funds as Right to Buy Replacement and an additional £2 million as a low-cost loan to support the scheme. Alongside this local corporate and individual connections are donating private capital. This is augmented by the generosity of a number of trusts and foundations that are also backing the schemes.