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First of Five Birmingham Villages Opens

26 March 2010

New Village residents, Chris and Olive Quinn, joined Birmingham City Councillor John Lines and 100 partnership guests to cut the ribbon and open the doors to the first of five Birmingham retirement villages.

Olive Quinn

The largest retirement project of its kind in the UK, New Oscott Village is set to transform the quality of affordable housing and care for older people across Birmingham and represents a significant milestone in the delivery of the City's older peoples housing strategy.

A partnership between Birmingham City Council, Midland Heart, the Homes and Communities Agency and The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, the £37m Village offers 260 affordable homes for purchase, part-purchase and rent, with up to 24-hour assessed care available on site.

The Village Centre offers 18 health and leisure facilities including a restaurant, fitness gym, IT Suite and greenhouse, all designed to enrich the lives of villagers, their families and hundreds of visitors from across the wider community.

With over 1,000 New Oscott applications received and significant demand for more villages, Birmingham City Council and The ExtraCare Charitable Trust are awaiting the outcome of a planning application for a second scheme in Newtown and are submitting plans for a third, off Hagley Road, in April.

Commenting on the New Oscott opening, Councillor John Lines, Cabinet Member for Housing, Birmingham City Council, says: "I am delighted that our vision for creating five pioneering retirement villages, a £200 million programme delivering some 1,500 affordable homes and an enriching lifestyle for older people - the largest retirement village project of its kind in the UK - has made immense progress with the opening of this first scheme, here in New Oscott."

Tom Murtha, Chief Executive Officer for Midland Heart, says: "We are pleased to be a part of the partnership that has created New Oscott Village as Midland Heart has always been, and continues to be, committed to transforming lives and communities. By our involvement in the development of the New Oscott Village, our commitment to older people is reinforced. I'm sure that our residents will embrace the wide range of facilities, activities and support on offer to them here to enable them to lead full and active lives."

David Rhead, Birmingham Team Leader for the Homes and Communities Agency, West Midlands, says: "New Oscott is a great example of how the HCA works with its partners to meet the housing needs of particular areas, providing standard housing where necessary and also specialist provision for more vulnerable groups like those supported at New Oscott. We also ensure that the provision is both of a high quality and also affordable - offering a range of homes for sale, part-buy and rent."

Nick Abbey, Chief Executive of The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, says: "I believe that residents will feel safe, supported and secure, experiencing a lifestyle where each day affords opportunities to socialise within a thriving community, learn new skills and make positive decisions about the coming months and years.

"Our partners have played a vital, central role in the development of this Village and we thank them for their commitment and skill in helping to bring this scheme to fruition."