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The UK’s latest ‘extra care’ village opened its doors in Newcastle-under-Lyme today with its first customer moving in

Hilary Freakley purchased a 50% share in a 2-bed apartment at Mill Rise Village in Cross Heath after selling her house to a first-time buyer at the end of 2008.

Mill Rise Village is one of the first schemes outside of the London area to combine extra care housing for the over 55s with a state-of-the-art primary care centre.

It has been developed on the site of the former Collins and Aikman factory, Lower Milehouse Lane in Newcastle, by Aspire Housing, NHS North Staffordshire and Prima 200 North Staffordshire (the Local Improvement Finance Trust company).

The £15m scheme will enable people like Hilary 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 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 physiotherapy, podiatry, phlebotomy and community nursing services, whilst a fitness suite will provide rehabilitation services and physiotherapy.

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 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.

The development has been funded by Aspire Housing, Prima 200, Homes and Communities Agency and RENEW North Staffordshire.

Other project partners include Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council.

Local residents have been consulted throughout the development process and a ‘Friends of Mill Rise’ group has been established - open to all prospective residents and the surrounding community, the group has met on a monthly basis to review progress and influence decision-making. It is hoped that the group will continue to meet to discuss future issues and social events.

Email: wdale@aspirehousing.co.uk


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