Liverpool-based healthcare specialist VVHC has submitted a planning application to Sefton Council to refurbish a 16-storey tower block in Church Walk, Bootle.
The scheme, to be delivered in partnership with registered housing provider One Vision Housing and contractor Carroll Build, will see the empty Irlam House transformed into a hub for the care of local elderly people. The building will be re-clad and fitted with community facilities on two additional penthouse floors, including a communal lounge and top floor restaurant.
Residents will also benefit from viewing decks, a gym and yoga room, cinema, craft rooms and beauty therapy rooms, with neighbouring residents also encouraged to use the facilities. The scheme has been designed by Liverpool architect Condy Lofthouse.
VVHC chief executive Roy Kenny said that the aim is to raise the bar in care standards and performance. He said: “Local people deserve the very best and that’s what they’ll get.
“Much of Sefton’s extra-care support is delivered in Southport, 16 miles up the coast, and that means local residents have to move away from their families and support networks. By developing this scheme residents can stay in their own community, which evidence tells us delivers much better care outcomes.”
All local qualifying residents, irrespective of their landlord, will be offered the option to be transferred to the 90 purpose-designed apartments, with specialised care infrastructure and staff provided by One Vision Housing alongside its nominated care provider.
Roy Williams, chief executive of One Vision’s parent group Sovini, said: “Subject to agreement with the local authority, this redevelopment will secure substantial investment in the area and help meet the demand for extra care housing provision in South Sefton”.
The property was built by George Wimpey in 1964 to a design by borough architect T. Finlay and had at one point been ear-marked for demolition. VVHC said that having identified it as structurally sound, it had developed a funding model that showed Sefton Council that it could meet its care obligations much more cost-effectively than using a standard approach.
Kenny said: “Our model is unique and delivers housing to the ‘lifetime homes’ design standard, providing much needed supported living accommodation at no capital cost to Sefton Council. It has become the benchmark in the sector.”
Pending consent, work could start on site in summer, with completion expected in the autumn of 2020,