THE first phase of an ambitious scheme to transform residential care for older people in Leeds has started on site.
Leeds City Council is working with developer Morgan Ashley, and housing and social care provider Home Group, on the first of seven extra care facilities, providing over 400 places.
Amblers Orchard in West Ardsley is where the first of these new facilities will be situated. Bulldozers recently moved in to clear the land, which was the site of a former day centre, and prepare the way for construction to begin.
The council is dedicating £30 million to the programme to directly fund three council buildings, and it is also providing land for specialist developers on four sites.
“Extra care housing is proving to be an extremely popular option as it offers tailored accommodation and individual support to older people,” said Councillor Debra Coupar, the city council’s executive member for communities.
“There’s a critical shortage of extra care housing and this new Council programme will not only go a substantial way towards the city meeting the target of 1,000 extra care homes across the city by 2028 but act as a catalyst to promote wider development by other providers.”
The council’s executive member for health, wellbeing and adults, Councillor Rebecca Charlwood added: “We’ve listened to feedback from older and disabled people as to what they want to help realise their aspirations, and have reflected this in the programme as part of our drive to make Leeds the best city to grow old in. I’m delighted work has now started on the first site in West Ardsley and look forward to monitoring the scheme’s overall progress in the months and years ahead.”
Extra care housing is primarily for people who have care and support needs who are unable to cope in their own home and may previously have had to enter residential care.
Each tenant has their own flat, helping preserve independence, but extra-care helps to alleviate social isolation through access to shared facilities, dining and activities and also provides on-site access and 24/7 emergency help – an additional feature that differentiates it from other forms of retirement living.
The Amblers Orchard site – due for completion in July 2021 – will consist of 63 extra care housing apartments with communal facilities open to the public. In addition, 100% of the new development at Amblers Orchard will be “affordable” homes for rent.
“We’re delighted work in Leeds is underway and can’t wait to welcome our first residents next year,” said Lindsay Courtney, Home Group’s strategic lead for service design and practice. “Community wellbeing at Home Group includes extra care services where housing and health can be integrated to maximise independence. We want to keep people active for longer, less isolated and empowered to do the things they love in life, and are excited to be working alongside Leeds City Council to achieve this.”
Laurence Basturkmen, Morgan Ashley Care Developments’ director of later living, added: “Morgan Ashley is delighted that the first of four exciting extra care projects that we are delivering in partnership with Leeds City Council and specialist registered provider Home Group is now on site. The scheme has been developed with comprehensive community consultation and we look forward to delivering a high-quality build with local contractor Torsion Group.”
Main Image: On site at Amblers Orchard, West Ardsley, Leeds.