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Unique Extra Care Housing scheme opens in Cumbria

A unique Extra Care Scheme in Carlisle which was built at a cost of £9+ million has had its official opening. Guests included development partners and residents who have now moved in to the scheme, as well as the Mayor of Carlisle Cllr David Wilson. It was officially opened by Chris and Charm Robson - a couple from St Bees who ran the London Marathon for their Golden Wedding Anniversary.

The scheme named Heysham Gardens and Heysham Meadows, is the first of its kind in the county and saw over £9 million of investment in Carlisle's Belle Vue ward situated in the west of the City. 

Spearheaded by developers Eden Housing Association, Cumbria County Council, Carlisle City Council and NHS Cumbria, there are now 60 new homes - almost all the properties are occupied or recently sold - leaving only four houses for sale and rent.

Heysham Gardens and Heysham Meadows is now a vibrant and active community that promotes choice and independence for older people, and those with a disability or support need. 

The communal facilities include a library, café, computer facilities, therapy areas, activity rooms and communal gardens. The Eden Housing Association community development team works closely with residents who have regular events and outings.

The project, backed by £4.7m Department of Health funding is described as a jewel in the crown for Cumbria. Its success so far can be measured by the residents living here and it has already courted attention from a health select committee at Westminster as efforts nationally focus on older people in their own homes.

Henry Barker, Chair of Eden Housing Association said: "We believe firmly that people should be entitled to live their lives as independently as possible, with their own front door and discreet care services available when needed. 

This scheme delivers just that and it is the grant funding from the department of Health and our partnership with Cumbria County Council, Carlisle City Council, Cumbria NHS and our construction team that has made this happen.

"We are proud of this innovative scheme which embraces numerous environmental features including a ground source heat pump, solar power and a sedum roof - but the focus throughout the process has always been on the needs of our future residents.

"It is now a year since residents first started moving in and we have a strong community spirit and lots of example of how the scheme has improved their quality of life. The official opening gives our partners the opportunity to see the finished scheme and meet the people who live here."

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