A multi-million-pound extra care facility is set to welcome new residents as it brings a “much-needed” asset to the area.
Newton House was unveiled at an opening event at the site last week, which is on Newton Road in Penrith.
The 54-unit facility is made up of a mix of one and two-bedroom properties, with 28 units available for shared ownership.
“This is actually in my ward and there has been an empty building on the site for an incredibly long time,” said the leader of Eden District Council Virginia Taylor.
“Long ago it was a maternity hospital which offered residence for people with special needs.
“It is great to have this facility, it is much needed. The facility is state of the art. There is a large guest room with a TV, staff on-site 24-7 – it is absolutely beautiful.”
The site offers a space for family members to stay when visiting residents.
It is described as a halfway house between retirement and 24-hour care.
“It is like assisted living in your own home,” said Virginia.
There are cost benefits of staying in this type of home rather than a traditional site.
“People who move into 24-hour care find that their financial situation changes,” said Vera Deacon, housing manager at Housing 21, the operator of the site.
“You still hold onto your finances – you keep charge of your own money.
“It also frees up care home spaces for people that actually need them.”
Salon and bistro
On-site is both a salon and a bistro.
“I think it looks brilliant, absolutely excellent,” said Patricia Bell, Cumbria County Council cabinet member for health and care services.
“As extra care is around for longer we see the next provider learning lessons from the last.
“We do want residents to have the very best help to allow them to live properly healthy lives and to be as independent for as long as possible if that is what they want to do.”
Patricia said the county council hopes to do more to provide similar accommodation to more people.
“The county council is always looking for options to develop extra care housing. We have the ambition to do more,” she said.
“It is very much about grasping the opportunities when they arise.
“It is about partners working together, you have the developer, Housing 21, Eden District (Council) and the county council have all made contributions to make this happen.”
The grant from Cumbria County Council was £732,000, a contribution of £288,000 was made by Eden District Council, £2.61m from Homes England and the remainder from Housing 21.
Cumbria County Council has also awarded grants to support the development of 22 units in Windermere and has offered non-financial support to a 104-unit development in Oxenholme, 80 units in Workington and a 62-unit site in Carlisle.