We are delighted to announce that work has completed on the first of three, multi-million pound PFI retirement living sites in Stoke-on-Trent, which together will comprise Staffordshire’s largest retirement village.

Willow Barns in Blurton contains 75 apartments, and is the first of the three sites to be finished.  Together, when complete, these will provide a total of 390 new apartments for residents over the age of 55.

The three sites – Willow Barns in Blurton, Oak Priory in Abbey Hulton and Maple West in Chell will offer spacious, self-contained, one to two bedroom apartments within a community setting, with a range of communal amenities on site including catering facilities, hairdressers, beauty salons and a fitness suite to enable residents to live as independently as possible.

The development is being delivered by Kajima Partnership Ltd, together with major housing association, Your Housing Group, and Eric Wright Group as part of Sapphire Extra Care Ltd, a consortium appointed by Stoke-on-Trent City Council. The architect for the site is Manchester based PRP.

Throughout the project the development team has worked closely with the Council to ensure that the facility accommodates the needs of the local community, providing standard care through to high dependency support and that the construction has supported the local economy by using locally sourced labour and materials where possible. This involvement with the community has been a strong theme at all stages of the process, and the Willow Barns foyer will feature artwork crafted in metal by students of a local technical college, ‘PM Training’, and to designs selected from a competition amongst local year 7 pupils.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for health and social care Ann James said: “A key part of our requirements for the three sites was that local companies were used as much as possible in the construction phase, and also that job opportunities were created locally. We’re pleased that Sapphire really embraced this, and it is fantastic that apprenticeships were created to give local young people the chance to learn new skills.”

Each of the consortium partners will retain an active role, as well as an investment interest in the project during its 25 year concession.  Kajima Partnerships Ltd. which retains the majority investor share will deliver all management services, Your Housing Group will act as Landlord to the developments and Eric Wright Facilities Management Ltd., will provide all FM services whilst its parent company, Eric Wright Group, will retain an investor share.

For more information visit where flythroughs of all three schemes can be viewed.