Official groundbreaking ceremony at historical site

Last week (10th June) marked the official ground-breaking ceremony for an exciting 6.75 acre Albany Road development, formerly The Watch Factory.

The first phase is being built by Knowsley Housing Trust (KHT), part of the First Ark Group, together with partners the Iliad Group, Knowsley Council and Harbur Construction.

The former Lancashire Watch Factory scheme will include a complete restoration of the original Grade II listed factory building and is comprised of an initial 70 new Extra Care homes with accompanying Extra Care facilities. Residents have the choice from  54 one-and two-bed apartments or  10 two-bed bungalows all of  which are available for affordable rent, plus, there are also 6 two-bed bungalows available for shared ownership ,each property has been designed to cater for the future accessibility and care needs of those aged over 55.

The new centre will include state of the art Extra Care facilities at the site as well as up-to-date communal areas, such as a restaurant, a hairdressers and activity rooms.

Mike Harden, CEO of Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, and Councillor Andy Moorhead leader of the council joined developers KHT and Iliad Group in celebrating the official ground breaking on site of their landmark Albany Road, Prescot regeneration project.

Guests from KHT, Knowsley Metropolitan Council and  Harbur Construction, were guided around the development to view progress made on building the foundations for two new wings which will extend from the rejuvenated factory.

The Watch Factory is expected to be completed by April 2016 and, following completion, will be owned and managed by KHT .

The scheme forms the first phase of a multiple phase regeneration strategy for the area.

Ryan Cullen, Iliad Group Communications Manager, said:

“I am delighted to have welcomed Mike Harden and Councillor Andy Moorhead to this wonderful work-in-progress today.

TheWatch Factory is something we are very passionate about at Iliad, understanding the rich heritage and significant historical interest this property holds in Prescot’s history. We are proud to be playing our part in the restoration of this fantastic building .”

Chief Executive of the First Ark Group, Bob Taylor, said:

“It’s great to see the start of the regeneration here at the old Watch Factory site. We are planning to bring the history of the development into the plot’s transformation with the original listed building forming the centre of the site. However, we will also be reaching forward into the future via our work, installing state of the art Extra Care facilities at the site.

“Every property at the development is designed to be a home for life, and each can be adapted around the future needs of residents, making the area a great place to live for communities for years to come.”

KHT secured funding from the Department of Health for the scheme, which meets the government’s Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and is being built to Lifetime Homes standards.

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