Impact Housing Association

Improvement Through Action

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H.R.H. The Prince of Wales will open The Whitehaven Foyer on Monday 10th April

Impact Housing, Howgill Family Centre and the Whitehaven Foyer Company are delighted to announce that H.R.H. The Prince of Wales will visit and officially open the Whitehaven Foyer on Monday 10th April. During his visit, H.R.H. will be looking around the building and meeting young people. Also, he will be viewing the display which young people have produced which looks at the building’s heyday in the 60s and 70s as the YMCA.

We are very pleased to bring this project to fruition – it started out as a sea captain’s house in the 18th century, it was a YMCA in the 20th century and, now, in the 21st century it has become an important service for local young people.

The Whitehaven Foyer is the first 'foyer' in West Cumbria and was set up in 2012. It is currently home to 14 residents following the completion of a new accommodation block in 1st June 2016. His Royal Highness will visit some of the people who live there to hear how the apartments provide independent and safe housing to local young people as they make the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

All the young people are in full time education and previous residents have gone on to higher education, apprenticeships and employment. The Prince will also see the recently renovated communal areas which offer facilities for local charities and community groups.

Among the programmes and courses available to residents are:

  • Skills to Succeed - takes place every Tuesday evening and encourages residents to think about issues around managing a tenancy, responsibility, consequences, choices and outcomes. 
  • Peer Pressure-is a series of workshops which aim to curb anti-social behaviour, prevent vulnerable young people from being targeted and make local communities safer. They are funded by a grant from the Community Fund of Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall.


Building and History

Originally constructed in the 18th century by a local sea captain and later used as a YMCA, the Whitehaven Foyer building is Grade 2 listed and is a key feature of Whitehaven’s Georgian landscape. Purchased as a derelict building in 2009 by Howgill Centre and Impact Housing, it was renovated between 2014 and 2016 to become West Cumbria’s first Young People’s Foyer.

As part of the townscape heritage initiative, training classes in traditional construction skills were provided for the public on site as the work progressed. A group of young people participated in the design of the flats and chose the colours of the internal walls, floor coverings and the style of the kitchen units.