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Bournville Gardens: innovative new housing and care development now open

More than 300 people are preparing to move into ExtraCare’s fourth Birmingham retirement village, which was officially opened yesterday.

Bournville Gardens is part of the charity’s £200 million development programme in Birmingham, which will deliver five affordable villages with 1,152 homes in Birmingham by 2017.

The £39 million community is the fourth of the five retirement villages to be completed and is a partnership between the charity, Birmingham City Council, Bournville Village Trust and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

The village will provide much-needed retirement accommodation, which is specifically designed to support and promote independence in later life. The village will also help free up hundreds of family homes in Birmingham through residents downsizing to their new apartments.

As a result of downsizing by residents who moved into two ExtraCare Villages already built under the Birmingham City Council partnership, Pannel Croft and Hagley Road, at least 115 council properties have been released back into the community. Additionally, three of the existing villages, New Oscott, Pannel Croft and Hagley Road, enabled at least 457 homes to be released back into the community, the vast majority of which were privately owned.

Bournville Gardens offers 212 one and two-bedroom apartments and is affordable to people on a range of incomes. The development includes 98 apartments for shared ownership and 70 for sale. 44 apartments for affordable rent will be managed by Bournville Village Trust.

A third of Bournville Gardens’ residents will receive help with care, including dementia. The village offers an integrated, holistic approach to housing, care and support, offering people varied social opportunities and a healthier, active and more independent lifestyle.

The value of this approach has been demonstrated by recent independent research by Aston University that shows care costs are slashed by more than a third at the charity’s villages while health benefits for residents soar.

In addition, Bournville Gardens’ 17 communal facilities, open to residents and their families, local older people and volunteers, include a shop, library and IT suite, café bar and lounge, hairdressing and beauty salon, fitness suite, and gardens.

Mark Curran, acting chief executive, ExtraCare Charitable Trust, said: ‘Partnership is at the heart of this village’s success. We are indebted to our friends at Bournville Village Trust, Birmingham City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency for their shared commitment in bringing this village to fruition.

‘We admire our new residents for the partnership they have shown in forming a vibrant new community at Bournville Gardens. The village represents a celebration of independence and opportunity and offers people a shared sense of community. For those wishing to downsize, knowing there is a support if they need it, a comfortable and affordable apartment at Bournville Gardens is an inspired move.’

Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for Neighbourhood Management and Homes, Cllr John Cotton, said: ‘Our partnership with ExtraCare means that 300 older people in Bournville, and 1,500 people across the city, will benefit from affordable, quality housing. The state-of-the-art facilities here will help residents to enjoy independence, increased activity and a high quality of life in a welcoming community.’

Peter Roach, chief executive of Bournville Village Trust, said: ‘George Cadbury didn’t just build the homes in Bournville for the workers of his factory as many believe; he wanted everyone to have the opportunity to live in high-quality housing with the benefits of open space and community facilities. Bournville Gardens, which we are very proud to be a part of, continues this legacy by offering homes for a range of different tenures, including affordable rent, and fantastic facilities to help people to keep active and healthy.

‘This is the first phase of our ambitious plans for the creation of the wider £60 million care village which we believe will be a national exemplar of how to integrate housing, health and social care.’

Christine Addison, executive director Midlands, Homes and Communities Agency, which has contributed £1.23 million to the project, said: ‘We’re pleased to have helped make the Bournville Gardens Retirement Village a reality, which is a great example of the HCA’s work to support older people. Developments such as this play an important role in making sure that people can remain as independent as they want to for as long as possible.’

Maureen Rickards, 71, and her husband Michael, 75, are downsizing from their three-bedroom detached house to a two-bedroom home in Bournville Gardens. Maureen, who has cared for Michael since his stroke almost 40 years ago, said: ‘The whole concept of having everything on site is perfect. Even if you don’t drive, you can still have a life.’

Maureen and Michael were among residents who attended the official opening to cut the ribbon and speak about the impact that Bournville Gardens has already had on their lives.

Bournville Gardens residents talk about their upcoming move

Bournville Gardens also benefits local employment and regeneration. Up to 30 jobs will be created when the village opens, with 200 jobs created during construction.

There will also be a considerable impact on health and social care as residents with assessed care needs benefit from ExtraCare’s award-winning dementia and mental health service, the Enriched Opportunities Programme.

This forms a core part of the charity’s successful combination of health, social care and housing services for older people. As already mentioned, the impact of the services was explored in a three-year study by Aston University, which researched 195 ExtraCare residents and non-ExtraCare residents in the North and Midlands between 2012 and 2015.

Findings included the fact that NHS costs for ExtraCare residents were cut by 38 per cent over 12 months compared with their costs when they first moved in, and residents experienced a reduction in the duration of unplanned hospital stays from 8-14 days to 1-2 days.

Furthermore, the cost of providing higher-level social care was £4,556 less (26 per cent less) per person per year than providing the same level of care in the local community. Find out more at