Development of £5m Alnwick Extra Care Scheme gets underway

Work has begun on the development of a new £5m state-of-the-art Extra Care housing development for older people in Alnwick.

When complete, Weavers’ Court will provide 58 one and two bedroom apartments, with 30 available to buy through older persons shared ownership and the remainder available to rent from social landlord Isos Housing.

Representatives from Isos Housing, Northumberland County Council and Galliford Try Partnerships North attended a ground-breaking ceremony yesterday (Tuesday, Oct 21) to mark the official start of the development. The development is being built by Galliford Try Partnerships North and aims to promote independence in older and vulnerable people. It will enable those with chronic and other health conditions to live in the community and could also help prevent admissions to residential care.

Weavers Court Start on SiteWeavers’ Court will offer residents fantastic views to the south and is located close to Weavers Way on the southern side of Alnwick. The three storey building will include first class facilities and act as a community hub providing a range of communal facilities such as a convenience shop, communal lounge, restaurant, coffee shop and hair salon.

The spacious one and two bedroom modern apartments will include a large lounge, lounge/diner, double bedroom and storage space as well as private terraces and balconies.  Isos will employ a scheme manager to oversee the day-to-day running of the scheme and care provision will be available on site should residents require this.

The design of the scheme is compliant with the Lifetime Homes and Wheelchair Design Guide standards and will use ‘HAPPI’ (Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation) principles and best practice. The plans have been developed by award winning architects, idpartnership and construction work will be project managed by Plan B Housing and Elliott Associates.

The scheme has received over £1.9 million from the Department of Health’s Extra Care Housing fund and is part of a national programme where the Department of Health has allocated funding to build 3,544 new homes.  The fund is managed and delivered by the Homes and Communities Agency.

Michael Farr, executive director of development and property at Isos Housing, said:

“Today marks a major milestone in the construction of this exciting new development, which will provide high quality homes for local people in Alnwick and Northumberland.

“Isos has a strong track record of delivering high quality development programmes and after our successful Extra Care development of The Manors, in Prudhoe, we are setting very high standards for specialist housing for older people across the region.

“I would like to thank all partners involved in this project to get to this stage and I am really looking forward to seeing this fantastic new development when we unveil it to residents next year.”

Councillor Allan Hepple, policy board member responsible for housing at Northumberland County Council, said: “Providing and supporting the development of homes to suit all needs in Northumberland is one of the council’s key priorities.  I am very pleased to see this facility get started on site.  When complete it will provide a unique set of services for older people, meeting housing, care and support needs.”

Colin Barnes, director at The Northumberland Estates, said:

“We think Weavers’ Court will be a great success – it represents a major investment in the town, creating much needed high quality care and community facilities. It is an important first phase of development to the south of the town which will include the new high school, family housing and sports facilities.”

Stephen McCoy, managing director with Galliford Try Partnerships North, said: “We are extremely excited about this project which provides us with an opportunity to work with Isos to provide high quality affordable homes which will enable people to live independently for longer.  This is one of a number of new Extra Care projects we’ve secured in recent months and this type of work represents a growing and much valued part of our order book.”

Victoria Keen, area manager at the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “Weavers’ Court shows what can be achieved for local people by our partners. The investment we have made available will mean that there will be not only more homes for local people but more suitable homes for older people.”

The one and two bedroom apartments at Weavers’ Court will be available on older persons shared ownership basis where you can buy a share in the property on a part buy, part rent basis.  Purchasers can buy a 75% share in the property and must be aged 55 and over and have a housing or recognised care need.

Prices range from £93,750 for a maximum 75% share in a one bedroom apartment or £103,125 for the same share on a two bedroom apartment.  Additional service charges will apply.

The scheme is expected to be completed in early 2016 and for anyone interested in buying or renting an apartment at Weavers’ Court should contact the Home Ownership team at Isos Housing on 0191 223 88 88 or through the links on this website.