Plans to convert former job centre into rehabilitation hub

The former Huntingdon job centre which, if approved by councillors, could be used as a rehabilitatio

The former Huntingdon job centre which, if approved by councillors, could be used as a rehabilitation centre - Credit: Archant

The former job centre in Huntingdon could be converted into a rehabilitation facility for people affected by drug and alcohol misuse if new plans are given the go-ahead by councillors.

Hartford House, in Hartford Road, was previously home to Huntingdon job centre until the service moved into the headquarters of Huntingdonshire District Council in May, 2018.

The move was made by the Department of Work and Pensions, which saw scores of job centres across the country merge with other branches or local government premises in a bid to save money.

If approved by councillors, the empty building could be used by the charity Change, Grow, Live to provide an integrated alcohol and drug service in the area.

The application submitted to the district council says: “We are proposing to use this building as a central hub for Huntingdon residents, to deliver the integrated behaviour change service. The Huntingdon hub will provide a range of clinical and therapeutic services, including recovery support to Huntingdon residents and their families who may be concerned and affected by drug and/or alcohol.”

The charity was awarded the contract to provide the service in the area by Cambridgeshire County Council.

Planning documents submitted by Change, Grow, Live also set out the negative impact the service may bring to the town and how it intends to tackle it.

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It says: “All customers attending the service enter into a contract regarding their behaviour which outlines how they would like to be treated and how we expect them to treat others and the potential consequences to their treatment place should they breach this contract.

“We guide customers to take responsibility for their own behaviour as part of their overarching aims to recover and reintegrate into the local communities. We encourage customer involvement in all aspects of the service including design and delivery so they feel a genuine sense of ownership and accountability.”

Huntingdon Town Council has recommended approval for the new service, and councillors at the district council will now consider the application at an upcoming development management committee meeting.