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Work to commence on historic Sunderland orphange refurbishment

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Work to commence on historic Sunderland orphange refurbishment

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Published by Craig Downs for Keepmoat in Housing and also in Communities, Health

Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Iain Kay and Mayoress Councillor Barbara McClennan with Mark Kearney, Operations Director at Keepmoat at the main entrance of the Old Orphanage in Sunderland. Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Iain Kay and Mayoress Councillor Barbara McClennan with Mark Kearney, Operations Director at Keepmoat at the main entrance of the Old Orphanage in Sunderland.

Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Iain Kay and Mayoress Councillor Barbara McClennan have joined developers to mark the start of renovation and development work at a city landmark.   

Renovation work has commenced at the historic Grade II Listed building at The Old Orphanage, Hendon alongside the construction of a new, state of the art extra care housing scheme.

Planning permission was approved in September last year and work, which will include the demolition of annexes and a derelict community centre, is about to start. 

Renovations within the Orphanage will include provision of new accommodation for the Community Association.  The project is due for completion late summer 2014.

This exciting project will cost £4.5m and includes the development of a 38 apartment extra care housing scheme in the grounds of the Orphanage. 

Available to people over 55 with a dementia diagnosis, the scheme will provide one and two bedroom apartments and communal space, with a hair salon; restaurant; activity room and landscaped gardens. 

Both buildings are to be managed by Inclusion Housing who are a housing association and a community interest company.

The orphanage first opened in 1861 and was purpose built accommodation for sons of seafarers, providing them with bed, clothes and a nautical education. 

The new extra care housing scheme will be named Seafarers Way to acknowledge and maintain the local heritage. 

Councillor Iain Kay, Mayor of Sunderland, said: “This building is iconic and an important piece of Sunderland’s history. 

"The project is bringing a renovated historic building back into use, providing facilities for the local community, and an innovative and well designed extra care housing scheme.

“This is a good and important scheme that is supporting those in our communities with a dementia diagnosis.”

Mark Kearney, Operations Director for Keepmoat, said: “This orphanage is a historic landmark within the city and Keepmoat are proud to be involved in refurbishing it and bringing it back into use. 

"To provide an extra care scheme within the grounds maximises the opportunities for the community alongside providing much needed, well designed and quality independent living for the city’s older households.”

Pete Ottowell, Chair of Inclusion Housing, said: “Inclusion Housing is proud to be delivering this flagship scheme in partnership with Sunderland City Council, not only will the scheme provide much needed specialist accommodation for people with dementia it will also see the Grade II listed building brought back into use for the community of Hendon. 

"We are looking forward to welcoming new residents in 2014 and building relationships and working with the local community.  Our other key partners in making this project a success are Extra Special Properties who are providing funding for the project and Housing 21 who will provide care and support services.”

Philip Pattison, a partner in Extra Special Properties (ESP) LLP, said: “I am delighted that grant is being made available by the Heritage Lottery funds to support the refurbishment of the Orphanage building.  We are pleased to be able to invest in Sunderland, and assist in providing the much needed facilities."

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