A proposal to push ahead with an innovative and exciting £23 million scheme for Harrogate, which will create extra care housing for older people and local employment and training, has been approved by North Yorkshire County Council.
If the proposal goes forward, the county council will invest £1 million in land value in a public and private partnership scheme which will kick-start a series of interlocking projects in the Harrogate area. These would bring about significant improvements for older people and in training and jobs provision.
At least 50 new posts in social care, retail, training and construction are expected to be created.
The scheme draws together the county council, Harrogate Neighbours Housing Association, Harrogate Borough Council and Bramhall Construction and proposes the creation of 139 units of extra care housing and a partnership with Harrogate College which would provide a base for work-placement training for people with a learning disability.
County councillor Chris Metcalfe, North Yorkshire’s executive member for the Adult and Community Service said: ”This scheme represents a wonderful opportunity for the council. It is a complex but exciting and creative project that brings together the voluntary, private and public sectors and is a fine example of how we will have to work together in the future.”
The scheme fits with the County Council’s strategy of moving away from providing residential care services and exploring how it can work with agencies to develop new extra care facilities, allowing elderly people to live more independently while still receiving the professional support they need.
In this way the residents currently living in the county council’s elderly persons’ home at Woodfield House will have the option of moving into one of the two extra care schemes on Wetherby Road and in Starbeck. The Starbeck facility would be built on the site of the county council’s former highways depot and would include 60 extra care housing apartments with a range of communal facilities such as a pub and general store, run on a social enterprise model. This could provide people living at the scheme with activities and volunteering opportunities.
Harrogate Neighbours Housing Association, regards the scheme as crucial to its development as a specialist, high-quality provider of supported housing and care.
Sue Ullmann, its chief executive and home care manager said: “We are delighted that after three years of discussions and negotiations with other partners a decision has finally been reached.
“This exciting and innovative partnership will enable the housing association to develop and sustain its future in the provision of support and care services for tenants, residents and clients that we have delivered successfully for the last 40 years.”