Weavers’ Court wins Duchess’s approval

Picture caption: The Duchess chats to Weavers’ Court residents Nora Walker (foreground) and John Mole.

The Duchess of Northumberland has officially opened our Weavers’ Court Extra Care development in Alnwick today – two and a half years after visiting the site as building work began.

Weavers’ Court represents a £7 million investment in Alnwick and a significant commitment by Karbon Homes to providing the highest quality accommodation for local people over the age of 55.

The opening event saw a large gathering of the building’s residents, all the partners who developed the building, and representatives of the local community in Alnwick, where Weavers’ Court has quickly become a key part of many people’s lives.

Her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland unveiled a piece of glass artwork, which was created by artist Sue Woolhouse in collaboration with Weavers’ Court residents, to celebrate the building’s new role in Alnwick.

The Duchess was given a tour of the building, including visiting the home of Joan McLelland, one of the first residents to move into Weavers’ Court.

The three-storey building contains a total of 58 one and two bedroom apartments, with a blend of rented and shared equity properties. It is located off Weavers’ Way on the south side of Alnwick.

Each of the spacious and modern apartments includes a large lounge-diner, bathroom and kitchen and plenty of storage space.

Weavers’ Court provides real independence, living in a fully accessible home, and support is always on offer for those who need it, when they need it.

So those with chronic and other health conditions, or who fear developing health problems, do not have to move into a traditional care home.

All the residents can use the shared facilities such as a café and hairdressing salon, and can take part in activities running throughout the week.

Weavers’ Court demonstrates the high standard of development which Karbon Homes is delivering across the North East.

Our current development programme will see the delivery of 2,400 homes over the next four years, increasing the 24,000 strong Karbon Homes stock by 10%.

Weavers’ Court was built to a design by IDPartnership architects which embraced HAPPI (Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation) principles. These principles involve natural light, high quality circulation spaces, and using plants and the natural environment as part of the development.

The main contractor was Galliford Try Partnerships North and the scheme received over £1.9 million from the Department of Health’s Extra Care Housing fund, managed and delivered by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

Construction work was project managed by Plan B Housing and Elliott Associates.

Her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland said: “This is a hugely impressive development which really brings something new to Alnwick.

“Having visited the site when construction first started, I’m so pleased to be officially opening the building.

“I hope everyone involved feels very proud of the building and the sense of community they have created here.”

Paul Fiddaman, chief executive of Karbon Homes, said: “We are so proud of this building, and of the community which has developed here. It was designed with the ‘HAPPI’ (Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation) principles at its core, and it’s very much a place that makes people happy.

“We want to thank all our partners who helped us deliver this project, and we look forward to the opportunity for Karbon Homes to build many more such developments in the future.”

Karen Anderson, Senior Specialist for the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “Weavers’ Court is a fantastic scheme that the HCA is proud to have been able to support. It is great to see what a difference our investment of £1.9million has made to this development. The mix of accommodation and high-quality homes and grounds provides a real choice for older people in Alnwick.”