The community open day at St Cuthbert’s in Hexham (L-R) Ken Heslop, Thelma Davison; Judith Heslop; Nora Teasdale; Jo Ray from Karbon Homes; Clive Burden, Mayor of Hexham Bob Hull.
First residents move into £5.5m Retirement Living development in the heart of beautiful Hexham
The new St Cuthbert’s development of Retirement Living apartments in Hexham, Northumberland is now complete and residents are moving in.
A comprehensive redevelopment of the site has seen the demolition of the previous 1960s bedsit style flats, and two adjacent semi-detached homes, to make way for 38 high specification apartments for older residents.
Karbon aimed to build homes to suit all sections of the community in Hexham, with a mix of apartments available for both rent and shared ownership. The apartments are mainly two bedroom homes, with 10 one bedroom properties.
The building is accessed from a new entrance for the site on Hencotes – linking the residents of the building into all the shops, cafes and restaurants available in Hexham town centre, and also allowing easy access for visitors.
The project, designed by architects HMH, has been supported with £2.4m funding from Homes England, the government’s housing agency.
Ken and Judith Heslop lived in a three bedroom house on the Priestlands estate in Hexham for 40 years before moving to St Cuthbert’s. They are glad not to have stairs to climb, and not have to maintain their garden any more.
Ken, 75, said: “As soon as we walked in the door, we felt comfortable. We are more relaxed here, and you never hear anything. I’m sleeping better now than I have for 10 years.”
Judith, also 75, said: “It’s a lot less work here for us – before, we had a big garden. It’s so quiet and secure. Every time you come along the corridor, you feel you are on holiday.”
Jo Ray, executive director of customer services for Karbon Homes, said: “We are very proud of this building and you can see the first residents are already enjoying their new surroundings.
“We want to thank our neighbours for their patience during the construction process, and we look forward to St Cuthbert’s becoming a cornerstone of the community here.”
Karen Anderson, investment specialist for Homes England, said: “St Cuthbert’s is a credit to Karbon Homes and is going to be a fantastic place to live, supporting older residents to maintain their independence and take part in Hexham life.
“Homes England is proud to support this high quality development, with its thoughtful design making the most of a difficult site in a central location, and providing options for rent and affordable home ownership.”
Work on St Cuthbert’s Close was led by Karbon with Tolent as main contractor, supported by consultants Hall and Partners and 3E Consulting Engineers.
Chris Price, regional director for Tolent, said: "It's always rewarding to know that the projects you create are welcomed and celebrated by clients as well as the local community. Collaboration is fundamental to who we are and everything we do and by working in this way with Karbon, the wider construction team and the community here in Hexham, we know that we've delivered something special."
The new homes on the St Cuthbert’s Close site will form part of Karbon Homes’ regionwide development programme which will see the business invest in providing at least 550 new homes a year.
The organisation provides a range of ways for customers to access homes, from homes to buy and shared ownership, to Affordable Rent housing, social rent homes and supported and specialised housing.