Thirsk housing scheme gets underway

A groundbreaking ceremony was held this week to mark the start of work on a new Housing 21 housing scheme for older people in Thirsk.

Guests from Housing 21, North Yorkshire County Council, Hambleton District Council and Keepmoat turned the earth to mark the start of construction on the first phase of the 52 unit extra care scheme, which is being built near to the Cherry Garth residential home. Being built over two phases will allow residents of Cherry Garth to stay in residence until the first phase is complete, when they will have the option to move into the new extra care scheme. Cherry Garth will then be demolished and replaced with the second phase of the scheme.

The new development will provide one and two bedroom apartments for people aged 55 and over and will also house a new public library alongside a restaurant, activity rooms and hairdressing salon.

Clare Hemming, Development Programme Manager for Housing 21 said: “It’s great to see work start on this new development. Extra care housing is an increasingly popular choice for older people as they can enjoy independent living in self-contained apartments but have access to care and support tailored to individual need.”

The scheme will provide residents with options for affordable rent, shared ownership and outright sale.

Councillor Clare Wood, North Yorkshire County Council’s Executive Member for Health and Adult Services, said: “North Yorkshire faces the prospect of a rapidly aging population and extra care schemes like this are a long range and strategic approach to meeting the county’s needs, with the  well-being, independence and choice of North Yorkshire’s citizens at its heart.  

“Extra care has proved a highly successful solution so far to supporting the needs of older people while enabling them to live in a home of their own.  It allows people to maintain independence within their own communities secure in the knowledge that round-the-clock care and support is available according to need, coupled with facilities such as a restaurant, hairdressers’ salon, hobbies rooms, library facilities and other resources.”

She added: “These schemes have also represented the best in partnership working with the county and district councils working together with housing associations and building contractors to create state-of-the art facilities.”

Martin Smithurst, Regional Managing Director for Keepmoat, said: “We are very proud to be working on this exciting new development. There is a real need for a scheme of this kind in Thirsk, and we look forward to working with our partners and the community to develop a first class facility of which they can be proud.”