Birmingham’s second retirement village opens

Over 200 older people in Newtown, Birmingham, will be celebrating tomorrow as they prepare to move to Pannel Croft Village, The ExtraCare Charitable Trust’s second retirement village in the city.

The 180-home Pannel Croft Village has been developed as a partnership between Birmingham City Council, The Homes and Communities Agency (contributed £9 million), The Department of Health (contributed £3.2 million) and The ExtraCare Charitable Trust.

It follows ExtraCare’s first retirement village in Birmingham, New Oscott Village, which opened in 2010 and is now over-subscribed. Applications for Pannel Croft Village opened in October 2011, and over 500 local households registered their interest in the Village.

Six homes in the Village are available for outright purchase, 30 for shared ownership, and 144 for rental. Shared ownership properties are available from £57,475, and outright purchase properties are available from £119,950.

ExtraCare has sought to ensure that living in the Village is affordable for all. Over 90% of residents will be in receipt of housing or care benefits to support their costs. For residents renting a home and claiming full housing and council tax benefit, the approximate weekly cost for a one bedroom home is just £28.87 per week.

To date, ExtraCare’s Benefits Team has found over £90,000 on behalf of new Pannel Croft residents. On average, the Charity finds up to £1.2m each year in benefits on behalf of residents living in its existing Villages.

Among the residents moving to the 180 home Village will be Sylvia McCormack (64) and Millicent Gobbinsingh (59). Both will be speaking on the day about what moving to the Village means to them.

Press are invited to attend as follows:

  • When: 11.30am, 1st November, 2012
  • Where: Pannel Croft Village, Hospital Street, Newtown, Birmingham, B19 2XU
  • Photos: Ribbon cutting with future residents, staff and partners, residents in the gym and taking part in activities, choir singing, show apartments
  • Interviews: Future residents, staff and partners

Also available: Tours of Village facilities and apartments, speeches from residents and partners

Contact:

Lucy Henson, PR Officer, on 0789 105 3062

lucy.henson@extracare.org.uk

Richard Tower, PR Manager, on 0772 055 3658

richard.tower@extracare.org.uk

Further information and quotes:

The Village has 180 apartments, each with a hallway, living room, one or two bedrooms, a kitchen and a shower room. All homes have their own balcony or access to shared patio areas.

Homes surround a community-based Village Centre with 18 health and leisure facilities, including a restaurant, bar, Village hall, Well-being centre, IT suite, craft room and greenhouse.

Residents’ families, friends, as well as volunteers and community groups representing all age groups will be welcome to visit the Village facilities and participate in the activity programme which will include gardening, singing, woodwork, writing, IT and fitness. Up to 50 activities can be accessed each week.

Qualified ExtraCare staff will provide care to residents who are assessed as needing help. Up to a third of residents within the Village receive help with their care. Dependent on individual circumstances, the Village can support residents with significant assessed care needs, including dementia.

Subject to individual needs and a full assessment, the Village may support some residents with dementia and complex mental health needs. ExtraCare’s award-winning Well-being Service will provide all residents with advice on healthy living.

The Village will be open to local older people and volunteers as part of a sociable community hub.

During its development the Village provided over 200 construction jobs with around 10 training placements. Around 30 Village staff have been recruited locally to provide, care, hospitality, housekeeping and activity services.

Significant public sector investment has gone into the building of the Village through the government’s Homes and Communities Agency who invested £6.5m through their National Affordable Homes Programme and also £2.3m through the Urban Living Pathfinder. The Department for Health has invested £3.2m into the scheme and £0.5m through Birmingham City Council in addition to them providing the land at nil cost.

Nick Abbey, Chief Executive of The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, says: “We are delighted to be welcoming residents to our second retirement village in Birmingham, ahead of schedule.

“Because we have been in touch with potential residents for many months, there is already a thriving sense of community at Pannel Croft Village, and I look forward to seeing that develop further.

“ExtraCare believes that living in the Village should be affordable for all, and we expect that over 90% of our residents will be in receipt of housing or care benefits. There is significant demand for an affordable alternative to the traditional retirement home, where people can be independent, and we believe that our Villages fill a much-needed gap in the market.”

David Rhead, Area Manager for the HCA Midlands, said: “We know through working closely with Birmingham City Council that providing high-quality affordable homes for older people is a major priority and we are pleased that our investment has enabled Pannel Croft to deliver this ambition.

“This is the HCA and City Council’s sixth extra care scheme in Birmingham and our third working with The ExtraCare Charitable Trust. We are confident that our success in promoting independent living for older communities across the City will continue, here at Pannel Croft as well as at the Charity’s next Villages in the City which are also making great progress.”

Cllr Steve Bedser, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We can be truly proud of this fantastic project which will transform the lives of the new residents.

“This retirement village will provide affordable housing, state-of-the-art facilities and excellent services that give older people independence, mobility and quality of life.

“It builds on the success of the New Oscott Extra Care Village that opened in 2010, and provides our older people with the choices they need in a modern 21st century City.

“I am committed to ensuring that these developments are replicated across the City to ensure all communities benefit from the wonderful opportunities that extra care provides to our older citizens.”

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