A new housing development for older people in Sunderland has been officially opened.
Dovecote Meadow, a £16.3million housing and care scheme in Ford Estate, was opened by the Leader of Sunderland Council, Coun Paul Watson.
To mark the occasion, the first residents to move into the scheme, Jacqueline and Alan Fenwick, planted a tree and there was a performance by the choir from nearby Highfield Community Primary School. Dovecote Meadow provides 158 two-bedroom apartments for older people, and 17 one-bedroom apartments and communal spaces for people with dementia.
Communal facilities include a residents’ lounge, activity/function room, restaurant, hairdressing salon, laundry, community-run shop and guest accommodation.
Coun Watson said: “Sunderland has a proud heritage and is known for ‘looking after its own’, but there are many older people struggling to live alone in their homes, which may be in disrepair and too expensive too heat.
“Many are also unable to get out like they used to, and becoming lonely and isolated from their communities.”
Residents were joined by local councillors and other dignitaries for a celebratory lunch.
Music was also provided by The Bunker, an organisation which aims to develop music and arts in the city, by providing young people with support to develop their talents.
Dovecote Meadow is the seventh scheme involving Housing & Care 21 in Sunderland since 2008.
Others include Keelboat Lodge, in Hendon, and retirement bungalows in Bardolph Drive, Southwick.