Construction work starts as homeless village begins to take shape

One of the accommodation units set to be located in the new village
One of the accommodation units set to be located within the new village

Diggers have moved on to the site of a new homeless village in Edinburgh being delivered by social enterprise sandwich chain Social Bite.

The project in Granton will consist of ten two-bedroom homes, providing eco-friendly accommodation for 20 people as they aim to reintegrate into society.

It had been hoped that members of Edinburgh’s homeless community could be housed before Christmas, but the first residents are now expected to move in by next spring.

Builders said the arrival of the diggers marked a milestone in construction after months of ground preparation and planning on a 1.5-acre site of vacant council land.

The village will be made up of transportable houses that are built off site, and a communal building where residents can eat together, socialise, work, learn and receive support.

Work so far has been funded by the 2016 CEO Sleep Out where more than 300 of Scotland’s most influential people slept rough.

More than 7,000 people have already signed up for Sleep in the Park this weekend.

Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, said months of ground preparation and planning has allowed the next stage of building work to commence.

He said: “Seeing the diggers move on to site today is incredible and it won’t be long before we’re able to bring the houses on to site from where they’re being constructed.

“Last December, 300 of Scotland’s leading business people slept out to raise more than half a million pounds for the Social Bite Village.

“Between them they’ve made what we’re seeing here a reality.”

He added: “Just think what the money raised by Sleep in the Park on December 9 is going to do.

“Over 7000 people are signed up and we’ve raised over £2m so far.”

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