Birmingham residents have joined partners from The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, Bournville Village Trust, Birmingham City Council and The Homes and Communities Agency to open two show apartments at Bournville Gardens Retirement Village.
The 212-apartment Village will have 18 health leisure facilities, with care, well-being and dementia services available to approximately a third of the community.
70 homes in the Village are available for outright purchase, 98 for shared ownership and 44 for rental. 75% of apartments available for general sale have already been reserved, with only nine two-bedroom apartments remaining.
The Village is costing £39m to develop with £1.232m grant funding made available from the Department of Health through the Homes and Communities Agency.
Due to open next autumn, Bournville Gardens is the fourth in a £200m Village development programme with Birmingham City Council. Last week, ExtraCare received planning permission for a fifth in Longbridge, due to open in 2017.
Starting prices for a 50% shared ownership apartment could be from £99,975 up to around £124,975 for a larger two-bedroom home. Rental apartments in the Village will also 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.
Each Village apartment will have its own kitchen, shower room, one or two bedrooms and living room. A significant number of homes will also have their own balconies.
ExtraCare staff will provide care within residents’ own Village homes, with a well-being service to support a proactive approach to healthy living and an Enriched Opportunities programme for residents who develop dementia. The Charity also runs a Care at Home service for people in the wider community.
The Village’s 18 health and leisure facilities could benefit over 300 older people, encouraging social and active participation amongst all age groups within the local neighbourhood. Facilities will include a fitness centre, café bistro, IT suite, greenhouse, craft and hobby room, shop and well-being centre. Residents, visitors and volunteers will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of hobbies, including choir singing, Tai Chi, writing, drama and wheelchair aerobics, all designed to support independence and improved social opportunities.
Peter Roach, Chief Executive of Bournville Village Trust, said: “The opening of the show apartment marks a key milestone in the development of Bournville’s flagship care village, which will not only provide new homes but excellent health and leisure facilities too.
“It’s fantastic to hear that people like Keith and Margaret are going to benefit so much from moving into the Village and we fully expect that other residents, and members of the local community, will also enjoy all the Village has to offer once it is fully completed.”
Nick Abbey, Chief Executive of the ExtraCare Charitable Trust, said: “We’re delighted that there has been so much interest in this Village and there is clearly strong demand from both local older people and the wider community. A supportive partnership between Bournville Village Trust, Birmingham City Council and The Homes and Communities Agency has been a significant factor in helping our Charity drive this project forward.
“This key stage in Bournville Gardens’ development comes as we receive planning approval for our fifth Birmingham Village, in Longbridge. We expect to commence construction on this Village by Spring next year.”
Cllr John Cotton, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “I am really impressed by what this Village has to offer. It’s really inclusive, and open to all of our citizens in Birmingham. It will offer the dignity and quality of life that they deserve, and will attract a fantastic vibrant mix of people. It puts people at the heart of the development, and is going to be a great asset for the city of Birmingham as a whole.”
Keen to move, local residents Keith and Margaret Shaw, 78, have already reserved an apartment in the Village, sold their house and started the process of downsizing. Margaret has some health issues: last year, she was given just days to live. But she is on her feet again and the couple are enjoying life to the full.
Keith said: “We felt it was right to make the move now at our age, before we got stuck in a rut and stayed longer and couldn’t move later. We don’t want to leave everything to our son and daughter to sort out.”