Sunderland's first extra care scheme opens

Sunderland's first extra care housing scheme, Beckwith Mews in Silksworth was officially opened earlier this month.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Cllr Dennis Richardson joined Beckwith Mews residents and staff, and guests from Housing 21, Frank Haslam Milan North East (FHM) and Sunderland City Council - the partnership behind the scheme - to cut the ribbon at a special event to mark the opening of the £5.9 million development in Leonard Street.

Beckwith Mews provides independent living for older people, with the opportunity to rent, own or part-own one of 40 two-bedroom apartments, with access to 24-hour care provision on-site.

Mayor Richardson said: "Beckwith Mews really is a remarkable achievement and I would like to congratulate all who have been involved, from its funding to its final furnishing, particularly Housing 21, Frank Haslam Milan and council officers, whose team work and enthusiasm is evident within the success of this building.

"I am pleased that the city is now able to increase the choice of housing to its older citizens, providing the opportunity for independent living with access to tailored care and support, alongside opportunities to meet new people and embrace older life in a safe, warm and welcoming environment."

Father William Lucas, one of the first residents to move into Beckwith Mews, accepted the official opening plaque on behalf of all the residents who live there.

Extra care housing developments are aimed specifically at over 55s and provide facilities including a restaurant, community library, lounge, hair salon, laundry, landscaped gardens, sun terrace and guest suite.

Work on a second extra care housing scheme, Woodridge Gardens in Washington, is due for completion in November 2009, and this will be followed by Bramble Hollow in Hetton, in May 2010.