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The UK’s latest ‘extra care’ village is set to open its doors later this month

Located in a priority regeneration area, Mill Rise, in Newcastle-under-Lyme, north Staffordshire, is one of the first schemes outside London to combine extra care housing for the over 55s with a state-of-the-art primary care centre, integrating previously disparate health services.

It has been developed on the site of a former factory, by Aspire Housing, North Staffordshire Primary Care Trust and Prima 200 North Staffordshire, the local LIFT (Local Improvement Finance Trust) company.

The £15m scheme will enable older people to maintain an independent lifestyle within a supportive environment with vital services on site. It is the first new build project in the heart of an Area of Major Intervention, and is expected to serve as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of the Knutton, Mile House and Cross Heath area.

Designed to improve residents’ quality of life as a means of promoting good health, the three-storey steel-framed development provides 60 one- and two-bedroom extra care apartments for rent and shared ownership.

It incorporates three GP practices (accessible to residents through a linked corridor, and to the wider community through a separate entrance), a pharmacy, restaurant, café, bar, and hair salon, in a secure village environment.

Mill Rise will host NHS dental services alongside physiotherapy, podiatry, phlebotomy (blood testing) and community nursing services, while a fitness suite provides rehabilitation services and physiotherapy.

The scheme will cater for residents with a mix of low, medium and high care needs.

Care staff will be available round the clock, enabling residents to live independently in their own homes (all with their own front door) with flexible care and support on hand if required, at a level to suit individual circumstances.

Residents’ facilities include a lounge area and conservatory, landscaped gardens (including seating, water features and a large outdoor chess board), raised plant beds and greenhouses, hobby room, wireless broadband connection, community alarm pull cords, CCTV door entry systems, laundry room and scooter storage, with charging points on all floors.

Each apartment has keyless door entry, and offers a walk-in shower, fully fitted kitchen, low surface temperature radiators, and anti-scald taps and showers. With lifts to all floors, Mill Rise is wheelchair-accessible throughout. Assisted bathing is available in an adapted bathroom on the ground floor. Every bedroom has fixing points enabling a hoist to be easily installed if necessary.

There is also a guest room allowing residents’ family members and friends to stay overnight when necessary.

A hot meals service will give residents the option of eating with friends as an alternative to cooking at home, and includes a takeaway facility.

In allocating places, priority will be given to people who meet the health needs criteria set by the partner agencies.

The development has been funded by Aspire Housing (£6,900,000), Prima 200 (£5,487,790), the Homes and Communities Agency (£4,300,000), and RENEW (£500,000).

Other partners include Newcastle-Under-Lyme Borough Council, and Staffordshire County Council.

Local people have been consulted throughout the development process, and a Friends of Mill Rise group, open to all prospective residents and the surrounding community, meets monthly to review progress and influence decision-making.

Local labour and local suppliers have been used as much as possible.

With high levels of insulation, a mechanical heat recovery provided as an eco-friendly alternative to air conditioning, and information packs provided to all residents about local public transport options, the scheme has achieved a ‘Good’ BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment) rating.

Mill Rise takes its name from The Cotton Mill in Cross Heath, which was built by Richard Thompson in 1797 and continued to manufacture textiles until the late 1960s.

The site is expected to be further developed to create a further 160 mixed tenure homes.

Mill Rise is next to Morrisons in Lower Milehouse Lane, Cross Heath.

The lead contractor for the project is Mansells Construction.

Email: j.kemp@quicksilverpr.co.uk


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