Warwick District Council confirms pledge to help Leamington night shelter

The LWS Night shelter volunteers and the current premises (Right) and what is set to be the new premises (left)
The LWS Night shelter volunteers and the current premises (Right) and what is set to be the new premises (left)

Warwick District Council have confirmed that they will helping night shelter in Leamington secure their new home as we revealed yesterday (Monday).

The council said it would help with the planning application and make a significant contribution for the LWS Night Shelter to move into the former Italian Club in Packington Place.

The LWS Night Shelter provides food, shelter and company for the homeless on Friday and Saturday nights and is currently based at the Priors Club, in Leamington.

Last year it was revealed that the night shelter needed to raise £60,000 to help complete the refurbishment work at the Packington Place premises.

The Council hopes that the realisation of the plans will help secure the future for LWS and the facilities it offers for the long term.

Councillor Peter Phillips, portfolio holder for housing and property services said: “I’m very much looking forward to working with LWS on this venture and being able to offer practical support to them to continue with the amazing job they do in helping the most vulnerable people in our community.

“I was pleased to inform my fellow Councillors that funding provision is available to allow the Council owned, former Italian Club building to be used for homeless people subject to planning approval.”

Susan Rutherford and Jazz Singh, Directors of the LWS Night Shelter said: “We are thrilled to have the support of Warwick District Council in making the old Italian Club the premises for our Night Shelter.

“Homelessness is a major issue in Leamington, which is very much felt by the local community, and we are extremely pleased to be working together with Warwick District Council to tackle this issue.

“We thank them enormously for their generous financial contribution.” 

Labour councillor Kristie Naimo, for Brunswick Ward, said that the council supporting the night shelter was positive and believes community pressure helped.

Cllr Naimo said the pressure from a recent Facebook post by Steph Atkin (as features on our front page last week) had an influence on the council’s contributions.

She said: “Councillors and officers have been discussing various funding options for a while but when Labour actually suggest a budget change, that’s when the administration managed to find some funds themselves.

“I do think it’s positive all round that Warwick District Council are listening and responding on this issue.

“Cllr Quinney and I have been meeting with the portfolio holder for housing Cllr Philips, Officers and the directors of LWS for the past 12 months to identify a suitable premises as a new location for the Night Shelter.

“Our Labour group had proposed an amendment to the budget this week to invest ‘up to £50k in refurbishing the Old Italian Club at Packington Place’ for the Night Shelter.

On the day of the Council meeting, the portfolio holder managed to confirm that the council will be providing funding to support the renovation costs as well as support with any planning permission required.

“So we’re pleased to see they are genuinely committed to making this happen.”