Albion Mill, Blackburn
Albion Mill, Blackburn
VVHC approached Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to discuss the development of a state of the art supported living facility on the banks of the Leeds/Liverpool Canal. This land had previously been the site of the historical Albion Mill Cotton Works, which was still in operation until 1975 and was then used as a leisure facility until its demolition in 2010.
The site is an area of great local interest and was badly in need of redevelopment. VVHC undertook a Public Consultation in April of 2014 to submit their design for the site to the local community. We took on board their suggestions and concerns and reached a design for the scheme ensuring we had incorporated areas within the scheme which were accessible to locals and tenants alike which would ensure everyone would benefit from the scheme.
It has taken more than three years, working with the Council to agree the design, obtain planning and tender for the construction. This wonderful facility will provide supported living accommodation together with leisure facilities and health services to a range of tenants from the Blackburn with Darwen areas along with the latest technologies installed to help them remain independent for longer.
What are we building?
The development is designed to provide 78 self contained supported living apartments for those adults requiring Extra Care and those living with the onset of Dementia. We are also incorporating a separate Intermediate Care unit consisting of 31 en-suite bedrooms and 4 rehabilitation apartments, which will be used by the Council to alleviate the waiting times for local hospitals. This unit will be a step-up step-down facility to aid local residents looking for care prior to primary care or following primary care and needing rehabilitation before returning home.
What is Extra Care?
Extra Care is for those adults, young or old, who are perfectly able to look after themselves and live independently, however, they may not be so steady on their feet, they may have medical requirements which may need monitoring, or they may be prone to illness which they would need assistance with.
In short this facility provides peace of mind for the tenants, for their families and helps local care and support teams to watch over their more vulnerable residents.
The residents intended for this facility are local people who currently live alone and do, or will, require some level of support to enable them to live independently for as long as possible.
What is Intermediate Care?
Intermediate care is a genuine alternative to hospital admission for some patients who require closer assessment of an illness to determine their care plan to support them in their own home. It also provides an efficient supported discharge from hospital of others who are undergoing rehabilitation before going back to their own homes.
Intermediate care can also provide patients with the support they require to prevent them transferring into a long term care facility directly from an acute service and will give some patients enough confidence to function independently back at home for longer.
What are we providing?
VVHC are providing 78 1 bedroomed apartments each with lounge, dining area, kitchen, bedroom and wetroom. The apartments are designed to be light and airy, with enough space to accommodate wheelchairs should there be a need.
In addition to the apartments we are providing communal spaces in the form of a laundry/sluice room and clean room, communal lounges and dining rooms. There are assisted bathrooms and physio room with a scheme office and sleepover facilities for support staff on the lower ground floor together with staff kitchen and locker room.
On the ground floor we have allocated spaces for various facilities includng private meeting rooms, spaces are available for a mini library, a hairdressers, possibly a GP consultation room, an activity room and a multi-faith room.
For visitors we have provided a mezzanine floor overlooking a wonderful TV lounge and a dining room / cafe facility, leading to an outside patio area overlooking the Canal. All these facilities will be determined over the course of the development and whose use may be subject to change by the Council or Scheme Managers.
The scheme will be equipped with the latest technology in terms of emergency call, assistive technology and security. Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council will partner with Inclusion Housing CiC, to ensure a safe and pleasant facility for each resident with assurance that should it be required, there would be trained staff onsite to address any issues and support the tenants.
How long will it take?
The build is scheduled to complete in 2020 and VVHC would like to take this opportunity to thank all the residents local to the site for their support and patience throughout the construction process. Our Project Manager is Natalie Atkinson if you would like further information.
Please see our Project Updates page for further details