With their names inscribed on a granite plaque, local resident Bernice Barrow and Birmingham City Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr John Lines, unveiled the new stone, along with ExtraCare's Partnership Director John Payne and the Homes and Communities Agency Area Manager, Birmingham and Solihull, David Rhead.
Mrs Barrow, who is considering moving to the Village with her husband Earl, said: "The security that this Village promises to give is very important to me, and I look forward to seeing Pannel Croft open. When the showhomes open in December, I hope to go in to see them and think, "Yes, this is for me.""
Already, 220 households have registered their interest in moving to the Village before applications open. Show homes are expected to open to the public by December 2011.
Nick Abbey, Chief Executive of The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, said: "We are very pleased to be celebrating this milestone in the development of Pannel Croft Village.
"There is a demand for affordable, high-quality homes for older people in Newtown, where they can enjoy activity and independence while still being part of a community, and we are excited to be able to provide this for local residents."
The charity's Community Relations Worker, Ian Jennings, who has spent the last few months meeting local residents, said: "I am really looking forward to going through this process with the local community, and seeing a building become a village and these houses become people's homes. I believe it will be the most dynamic, vibrant village that we have."
Due to open in Spring 2013, Pannel Croft Village will provide 180 apartments for more than 200 local residents over the age of 55. It is the second of five villages being developed by The ExtraCare Charitable Trust and Birmingham City Council. The Homes and Communities Agency has also invested nearly £9 million into Pannel Croft and the Department of Health has given a further £3.2m.
Birmingham City Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr John Lines, said: "This ceremony cements the excellent work of the partnership between Birmingham City Council and ExtraCare. This development will pave the way for another high-quality retirement village, which will provide excellent facilities and quality of care for its residents."
David Rhead, Area Manager for the HCA Midlands, said: "Pannel Croft is an important part of the wider regeneration of Newtown, where our joint investment has generated good momentum to enable The ExtraCare Charitable Trust to commit to delivering this important scheme for local people. The foundation stone marks an important milestone for Pannel Croft and for local people who have been involved and supportive of the changes in their area."
The Village is providing around 30 ExtraCare jobs locally and an additional 16 trainee and 17 apprenticeship roles on the construction site with community regeneration specialists Frank Haslam Milan (FHM), who are delivering the scheme.
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Pictures (clockwise from top):
ExtraCare's Partnership Director John Payne, Birmingham City Council's Cabinet Member for Housing Cllr John Lines, the Homes and Communities Agency Area Manager, Birmingham and Solihull, David Rhead, and potential resident Bernice Barrow lay the foundation stone at Pannel Croft Village in Newtown, Birmingham.
Bernice Barrow poses at the Foundation Stone ceremony at Pannel Croft Village, Newtown.
John Payne, Cllr John Lines, David Rhead and Bernice Barrow
Bernice Barrow, John Payne, Cllr John Lines, and David Rhead unveil the Foundation Stone.
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