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First View of Village Homes

13 April 2011

Village fundraising volunteer, Brian Hobbs, joined The Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor Debbie Brock, to cut a ribbon and open the new Shenley Wood Village show homes recently.

Affordable rent and purchase homes are now on show and with applications now open there's been early demand, with 152 of the Village's 300 properties already reserved.

Set to open in 12 month's time, Shenley Wood will secure Milton Keynes' place as the UK's first City to host two retirement village developments on such a significant scale. It follows the success of Willen-based Lovat Fields Village (with Midland Heart), which is now three years old and has a waiting list of over 200 households.

The second village demonstrates Milton Keynes Council and The ExtraCare Charitable Trust's ongoing commitment to meet demand for innovative sheltered housing that is affordable and addresses the future needs of an expanding local older population. The project is also supported by Milton Keynes Partnership, The Department of Health and The Shenley Wood Village Appeal.

The one and two-bedroomed apartments on show are typical of the new homes which will be available to over 400 local older people when the Village, which is being built in two phases, is completed. With 225 purchase options available (priced from £78,750 for a 50% part-purchase one-bedroom apartment), 75 rent-only properties, and access to specialist benefits advice to support housing and care costs, the homes will offer villagers an affordable, high-quality housing route, much sought after amongst local elderly people who may be isolated, need personal support and only have a minimum state pension.

Larger and better appointed than accommodation in many affordable care schemes, the Shenley Wood homes will surround a Village Centre with 18 health and leisure facilities and demonstrate a progressive approach to older peoples' future housing.

Facilities in the Village Centre will include a gym, restaurant, craft centre, greenhouse and IT suite with opportunities for residents to pursue activities and skills which may include painting, singing, craft, horse riding and even abseiling. Linked to the wider community through visiting families, affordable club membership and volunteers, the Centre will also be home to ExtraCare's national award-winning Well-being Service. The £1m Shenley Wood Village Appeal has been established in Milton Keynes to help fund equipment and facilities in the Village Centre.

Approximately one third of Shenley Wood's residents will need assessed care with on-site, qualified staff available to deliver services in residents' own apartments up to an equivalent level found in a nursing home. Residents who require specialist support with dementia care will also be able to access The ExtraCare Charitable Trust's award-winning Enriched Opportunities Programme.

Lynda Bull, Corporate director, Community Wellbeing: "We are delighted to continue our strong partnership with ExtraCare, to give more opportunities in MK for older people to live their lives in the way they choose and enjoy living in a real and stimulating community"

Nick Abbey, Chief Executive of The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, comments: "Eventually, over 500 older people will be able to access care, social facilities and well-being services provided by this second village, either as residents or visitors. This doubles the number of people already being supported through the first village, Lovat Fields, and demonstrates the success of a far-sighted housing and care strategy that is responding to local need."

Notes for Editors :

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust has established the £1m Shenley Wood Village Appeal to fund the Village Centre which will provide affordable social and active opportunities for up to 500 older residents, families and community members - many of whom may have little social contact and are frail with limited means. These facilities can only be provided through charitable funds raised by the ExtraCare appeal. For more information about the appeal please contact: Ann Allen at ExtraCare on 07825171546