ExtraCare Charitable Trust Chief Executive Nick Abbey says older people and their families are seeking “faster change and more choice” when it comes to housing and health in later years. His comments come as he joined 100 prospective residents and development partners to bury a time capsule, celebrating the start of construction work on the £44m Earlsdon Park Village in Coventry, the Charity’s 16th retirement village.
The £32m build contract with is due to be complete by Spring 2016. Already 900 households have registered their interest in the Scheme, ahead of applications opening next year.
262 one and two bedroom homes will be available to more than 300 local older people over the age of 55; 95 will be available for outright purchase, 115 for shared ownership and 52 for rental. Each will have its own kitchen, shower room, one or two bedrooms and living room.
An on-site care team will provide support to residents in their own Village homes, with access to specialist dementia and well-being services. A catering team, fitness instructor, activity facilitator and volunteer coordinator will all be linked to the Village’s 18 health and leisure facilities in a strong drive to ensure that residents can enjoy an active and lifestyle as part of a wider community of visiting families, friends, children and volunteers.
Rental apartments in the Village will be affordable for people on a minimum income receiving maximum pension credit guarantee, demonstrating the Charity’s on-going commitment to support local older people with limited means.
ExtraCare’s Chief Executive, Nick Abbey, said: “Tackling the crisis in care and housing for older people requires providers to think creatively, act boldly and to deliver great homes and a healthy lifestyle within inspirational communities that people want and can afford to be a part of.
“Older people and their families tell us they want faster change and more choice – we’re determined to respond with this Village and a further five communities across the Midlands that are already in various stages of planning or development.”
“We’re experiencing significant demand for our services with 30,000 households registering interest in our Villages across the Midlands and North.”
Cllr Ann Lucas, Leader of Coventry City Council, said: “Coventry is an incredibly diverse city, with a massive range in the needs of our population.
“As such, we welcome the development of the city’s first retirement village that will have the facilities to cater to the over 55’s, their families and friends.”
John and Molly Phillis, who hope to move to the Village, also spoke at the event, and helped Coventry’s Deputy Lord Mayor, Michael Hammond, bury the capsule. John and Molly, who are both nearly 80, have lived in Coventry for 40 years.
The house where they have lived for 30 years is now too big for them. John says: “We need something different now. I love my garden, but I know that the garden will be too big for me soon. And the best part is, if we could move to the Village, we’d still be able to do everything. I’d still be able to garden, but I wouldn’t have to if I didn’t feel like it. We wouldn’t be giving anything up.”
Also speaking at the event were residents of ExtraCare’s existing smaller Coventry developments. Barbara Hickey from Humber Court put a copy of the Scheme’s activity timetable in the time capsule, and James Tomlinson from Princethorpe Court shared pictures of himself abseiling down a 70 foot wall as part of an ExtraCare event.