Extra Care in Welshpool - taking a sensitive approach to building conversion
August 15th 2019
Work to transform a council building in Welshpool into extra care accommodation for Powys people will be done in a sensitive manner. That's the message from Powys County Council and their partners in the project, ClwydAlyn.
Neuadd Maldwyn on Severn Road is to be transferred to the Registered Social Landlord (RSL) to enable it to carry out the work required to offer extra care in the town. Welshpool will be the second town in Powys to offer extra-care accommodation after Llys Glan yr Afon was established in Newtown two years ago.
Extra care delivers modern accommodation, which has 24-hour care and support available on site to meet the needs and changing expectations of residents, allowing them to live as independently as possible in their own homes.
Councillor Stephen Hayes is the council's Cabinet Member with responsibility for Adult Social Care. He explained: "When we were considering who to work with on this project, we were looking for an organisation which had experience of working with a listed building and could balance the need to provide first class accommodation for our elderly people with a requirement to preserve the architectural beauty of the building. I am confident, from looking at their work in Wrexham, Llanrwst and Flint, that we've made the right choice and ClwydAlyn can do this."
ClwydAlyn Housing Limited was formed in 1978 as a non-charitable RSL when a group of local people recognised the need for good quality affordable rented housing in the county of Clwyd and the District of Aberconwy and registered Clwyd Alyn Housing Limited as a social landlord. ClwydAlyn has developed significantly over the decades and now manages over 6,000 units of accommodation and provides related support services across Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Conwy, Wrexham, Powys and the Isle of Anglesey.
Craig Sparrow, Executive Director of Development for ClwydAlyn said: "We are delighted to be working with Powys County Council on this exciting development in such a key location. ClwydAlyn has extensive experience of delivering high quality specialist housing solutions which incorporate listed buildings or are in protected conservation areas.
"We have recently completed a similar state-of-the-art extra care housing scheme in Wrexham where original villas in a protected conservation area had fallen into disrepair. They were sensitively restored to maintain the authenticity of the buildings, providing unique accommodation which harmonised with a new-build area at the rear.
Mr Sparrow explained; "It is important to us that our architects ensure the integrity of the complete development so that contemporary features compliment the heritage of the original building.
"ClwydAlyn has also transformed the second oldest building in Flint, the Old Court House, which is only predated by the town's castle, into a thriving café and community heritage hub, and we have also recently completed the transformation of the Grade Two listed 17th century school house in Llanrwst into a community well-being facility and four additional extra care apartments. It is a privilege to develop these buildings, ensuring their future for generations to come."
Extra care is one of the council's favoured approaches to accommodation for older people. Projections for the next 20 years show the number of people aged 75 and over will grow as a share of the total population from 11% to 23%. The trend is good news for the individuals themselves but it does bring challenges for health and social care services. Extra care accommodation typically consists of either one or two-bedroom apartments with accessible bedrooms, a sitting room, a separate kitchen area and walk- in shower. Extra care buildings usually have communal spaces, community alarms and technology enabled care.
Mr Sparrow added: "There will be full consultation and we look forward to meeting all involved as this exciting scheme progresses. The plan is to create in the region of 60 self-contained apartments built on the site which will be sympathetically designed incorporating the listed buildings subject to planning permission."
Image: An artist's impression of how the Welshpool extra care facility could look.