DIY SOS Veterans Village


Manchester City Council

Project cost



Newton Heath, East Manchester

Project Description

Refurbishment and conversion of derelict terraces to create veterans village

What happens when you bring the BBC, Walking with the Wounded, Manchester City Council and a group of contractors together? Only, the largest DIY SOS challenge ever! Not only has this project set the benchmark for true collaboration amongst those who are normally competitors, it has delivered an exceptional community provision for army veterans who often feel marginalised from society. A once empty street is now a thriving hub of opportunity and rehabilitation in a safe and inclusive environment.
BTP was the project architect and part of the volunteer consultant team on the biggest ever DIY SOS Big Build in Manchester. The project involved transforming run-down terrace houses in Newton Heath into bespoke homes for Army Veterans including Walking with the Wounded Advice and Therapy Centre.

BTP were closely involved in all aspects of the scheme including surveying the properties, carrying out the design work to ensure that they met with the requirements of the Veterans and working closely with our partners at Manchester City Council, Planning and Building Control to ensure the project came to fruition.

We are looking forward to our involvement in the second part of the project which will see a further 17 empty properties refurbished by charity, Haig Housing.

Key Features

Through the project teams unified approach and willing volunteers - around £2m in labour and materials were donated - the following was achieved in just 15 days:

  • Eight empty properties refurbished into three larger residential homes with disabled access, plus a two-bedroom extension
  • An office and therapy centre created – offering jobs and health support
  • Facelifts to 62 properties
  • Streetscaping improvements

A further 17 empty homes are also being refurbished and will be run by Haig Housing, with the aim of creating a special veterans’ housing community.

Client Testimonial
BTP Architects have shown a real commitment to the DIY SOS project and its aims. They brought an essential range of expertise, experience and skills to the project.

Carol Western, Manchester City Council

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