Wednesday 8th April saw the first 12 tenants move into the newly renovated MacDonald Buchanan House, on Howard De Walden Way in Newmarket. With the support of The Alborada Trust, The Macdonald Buchanan Charitable Trust and The Newmarket Open Weekend (now The Henry Cecil Open Weekend), Racing Welfare has invested over £600,000 into a complete renovation of the site which, when fully completed, will provide 18 units of high-quality accommodation. The completion of the project has been slowed by the Covid-19 crisis, but the team involved have worked hard to adapt and are delighted to be able to welcome these young people into the Racing Homes Community.
It has been our ambition to see all young people coming into the racing industry for the first time have a happy, healthy and well-supported start. The new, affordable housing offered by MacDonald Buchanan House, along with the provision of a dedicated housing support worker, will be integral in providing this service. Our housing team have had to adapt their working methods since the Covid-19 outbreak to ensure the completion of the initial 12 accommodation units and it is wonderful to be able to welcome our first tenants during these challenging times.Dawn Goodfellow, Racing Welfare Chief Executive
The project was undertaken to help address a need for safe, affordable accommodation for young people, aged 16-24 years, who are starting out their careers in racing in Newmarket. MacDonald Buchanan House, which is owned and managed by Racing Homes, Racing Welfare’s housing charity, bridges the gap between the racing schools and independent living, providing a supportive environment where young people have the best opportunity to flourish in both their personal and professional lives. The rent for each of the flats is at a subsidised rate in order to assist with affordability, which can be a problem in the town.
The fully furnished accommodation has been carefully designed and decorated to appeal to the younger residents, whilst also ensuring it promotes independence. The new residents can live in the accommodation for up to two years and throughout this period they will be supported by a dedicated Housing Support Worker.
Each resident will follow a structured plan to learn key life skills such as money management, cooking, and DIY. The whole project has been designed and implemented to give young racing staff the very best preparation to be able to sustain their own independent accommodation in the future and to continue to contribute to the racing industry for many years to come.