Construction starts on new £18m Extra Care centre in Cradley

CONSTRUCTION has begun of an £18m project to complete a new Extra Care facility in the Black Country.

Loughborough-based contractor and developer, William Davis Ltd, is carrying out the work on behalf of the healthcare group, on what was the former Cradley High School, off Slade Road, Cradley. The project will see the development of a 120-bed apartment complex for the over 55s.

Richard Cornes, partnerships director at William Davis, said: “This is a major project for the company and the second Extra Care scheme we have undertaken on behalf of Midland Heart under their partnership with Dudley Borough Council. We are developing a reputation for good quality work in this highly specialised sector and are pleased to be working with Midland Heart and our other partners again, on what will be a flagship scheme for the region.”

Designed to promote independent living for Dudley’s over 55s, the scheme will comprise a mix of one and two bedroom properties for rent and sale together with communal leisure facilities including shop, restaurant, library, gym, and well-being centre. It will be constructed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating where 10% of the project’s energy will be provided from renewable/low carbon sources through the installation of a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit.  

Cllr Dave Branwood, cabinet member for adult and community services, Dudley MBC said: “The well-being of our older citizens and ensuring they have a decent quality of life in their older years is one of our key priorities. We know that the older population is increasing and that people are living longer.

“Over the last few years the council has helped to develop a range of flexible housing solutions to support older people. Extra Care housing is just one of our popular options that help people maintain their independence whilst at the same time provide tailored support, social activities and everyday facilities in a safe environment.”

The development in Cradley follows William Davis’ previous Extra Care scheme with Midland Heart; Broad Meadow in Russells Hall, Dudley.

“With the help of our partners, we are pleased to be leading on a project that brings significant investment into the area and create much needed, purpose-built accommodation for older people,” added Carl Larter, director of assets at Midland Heart.

Plans for the scheme were approved in March 2013 after lengthy public consultation. The development is due for completion in spring 2015.