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Manchester businesses come together to refurbish church and community centre in operation worth £118k

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Two Manchester business have come together to refurbish a local church and community centre in the city which will benefit the local area.

The Salvation Army Manchester Central, located on Grosvenor Street, which has been part of the city for over 140 years after coming to Manchester in 1878, needed a refurbishment of its current site in order to further serve the community in which it operates and that was made possible thanks to a partnership with construction company Willmott Dixon’s Manchester team.

The new church and community centre will now offer a community café and grocery shop after Wilmott Dixon brought together a team of 80 volunteers to deliver a refurbishment worth £118k of the charitable organisation’s building, which saw the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Cllr Abid Latif Chohan, officially open the building.

The refurbishment work took the form of fully remodelling the building to provide new facilities including an IT training room, meeting spaces, secure office space and a food bank for those in need in the local community. Willmott Dixon’s Manchester supply chain partners and customers donated their time and resources making the transformation of the building possible.

Captain Kay Blues, leader of The Salvation Army Manchester Central church and community centre said: “We can’t thank the team at Willmott Dixon enough for putting the dreams and hopes we have had for so long into reality. The very fact that two Manchester businesses can work together to deliver such a refurbishment is testament to how the city pulls together to support the local community.

“The work that Willmott Dixon put in to call upon its contacts to help us deliver our vision for the Manchester community in which we operate was fantastic and we want to extend our thanks to them too as without them, none of this would have been possible.

“The excellent work that has been carried out to redevelop the centre has now made it a hub of activity for the local community and we were so pleased that the Lord Mayor of Manchester was able to join us for the grand reopening.”

Willmott Dixon’s management trainee Jack Hall, from Oldham, brought together a team of volunteers to deliver the £118k refurbishment of The Salvation Army’s building through the construction firm’s Management Trainee Scheme which includes an annual challenge to make a real change to the lives of people in local communities. The scheme is just one of countless initiatives underlining Willmott Dixon’s commitment leaving a lasting legacy in the communities it works in, and which has this year seen it awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of Promoting Opportunity.

Anthony Dillon, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the North, said: “We are committed to leaving lasting legacies in the communities in which we work, and our flagship annual Management Trainee Challenge is just one of the ways in which our people can make a real change.

“The challenge to refurbish and breathe new life into the Salvation Army building, led brilliantly by our management trainee Jack Hall, involved more than 30 organisations and 80 volunteers. The transformation would not have been possible without the generosity and dedication of our people, and supply chain partners, who gave up their time to support an invaluable cause. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved.

“The official opening was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate this milestone and bring together the inspiring number of organisations and people across central Manchester’s diverse community who will benefit enormously from the care and support offered by this centre.”

Jack, who joined Willmott Dixon as an apprentice building manager in September 2014, is now part of the Oldham-based construction company’s Management Trainee Scheme. Jack said: “The Salvation Army and The Works are two incredible causes that are changing lives and offering real opportunities to help the most vulnerable people in our city get back on their feet. I’d like to say a huge thank you to the team of volunteers drawn from Willmott Dixon’s people, our supply chain partners and our customers. Without everyone’s kind support and donations the renovation simply wouldn’t be possible.

“We’re all really proud to be able to help and thrilled to take part in such a fantastic celebration day.”

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Philip Ghayour
Events, PR, and Marketing Manager at The Samuel James Group, Philip has a degree in Journalism from the University of Salford and holds an MSc in Marketing from Lancaster University, Philip has also worked at BBC Radio Lancashire, Clitheroe Football Club and Accrington Stanley Football Club.