Time capsule celebration at Newtown retirement village

By on 24/03/2011 in News

Birmingham resident, Sylvia Dacres, joined Councillor John Lines, Cabinet Member for Housing, community residents and development partners to bury a ceremonial time capsule on the construction site of Pannel Croft Village.

The 180-home affordable retirement scheme opens in the Newtown area of the City during Spring 2013.

A partnership between Birmingham City Council and The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, the £22m Village represents a major investment in the well-being of Newtown's older people and forms a part of the area's ambitious regeneration programme for housing, schools and sports facilities.

With over 200 households already registered for the scheme, partners are confident that the Village's 80% rental and 20% purchase homes will be taken up soon after applications open next year.

Properties will surround a community-based Village Centre with a wide range of facilities including a gym, restaurant, craft room and woodwork area. Assessed care will be available in the Village for those who need support - up to an equivalent level found in a nursing home. 

The Village is providing over 50 ExtraCare jobs locally and an additional 36 funded trainee and apprenticeship roles on the construction site with house-builders Frank Haslam Milan. 

Other partners who have contributed to the scheme's development are Urban Living (£2.4m), The Homes and Communities Agency (£6.4m) and The Department of Health (£3.2m). 

Pannel Croft is the second of five proposed villages across the City, a £200m development partnership between Birmingham City Council and The ExtraCare Charitable Trust.  The first 260-home Village, New Oscott (developed with Midland Heart), opened in March 2010 and is now oversubscribed.  A third 241-home village, off Hagley Road in Harborne, received planning permission in January 2011and construction begins in Autumn 2011 for opening in Spring 2014.

Sylvia Dacres is amongst 110 older residents and families who have already attended community meetings about the Village during the past month. 

Sylvia Dacres was a young child when her parents came to settle in this country from Jamaica in the 1950s and is now a member of the African Caribbean Millennium Centre who recently visited ExtraCare's first Birmingham village, New Oscott.

A former nurse who trained in Birmingham hospitals; later managed services for adults at a senior level in social services and active in the voluntary sector, Sylvia admits that she was determined not to go into residential care as she got older. But she was pleasantly surprised with the level of independence and quality of life that New Oscott had to offer. Having suffered a stroke she uses a mobility scooter and was impressed with the interior design of the Village, community style facilities and care services.

Sylvia, who has three daughters, four grandchildren and a great grand daughter: comments: “Many of the people from my community would not have thought about a place like New Oscott or Pannel Croft and it is pleasing that ExtraCare is interested in addressing cultural aspects when the new Village is inhabited.”

Sylvia says the group is made up of senior citizens and they enjoy various activities such as exercises, learning to use the computer; social events and other interests in our community. Obviously if those who are interested move into the new village, they will have even more activities to keep them occupied.

Councillor John Lines, Cabinet Member for Housing, commented:
“We've already had a lot of interest from our older people in this retirement village, our second The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, and I'm delighted to be here today to mark progress with the burial of this time capsule.

“Newtown is an area in which the council has worked very hard with many partners to deliver regeneration in tough economic times. As well as this village, we are building a new school, new council housing and with the success of the nearby Crocodile Works development, we are proud of the changes in Newtown.

“I want to thank the Government for its funding towards this scheme and for their faith and trust in Birmingham to get the job done.”

David Rhead, Area Manager for the Homes and Communities Agency, Midlands, said: “Pannel Croft is an important part of the wider regeneration of Newtown, where our joint investment has generated good momentum to enable The Extracare Charitable Trust to commit to delivering this important scheme for local people.  Today's event is a great way to reward the community around Pannel Croft, who have been involved and supportive of the changes in their area.”

Nick Abbey, Chief Executive, The ExtraCare Charitable Trust said: “I believe this second village demonstrates our charity's ongoing commitment to provide affordable and innovative housing that  will support older people across Birmingham,  especially here in Newtown as part of the area's exciting regeneration plans. 
“Planning has recently been awarded for a third Village in Hagley Road and we expect to announce proposals for further Birmingham villages as the year continues.”


Notes to editors

To see images from the event, visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/birminghamnewsroom/5555776155/

Further information from Belinder Kaur Lidher on 0121 303 6969

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