Work starts on £20m ‘dementia-friendly’ scheme

Not-for-profit dementia specialist Belong has started enabling works on a £20m ‘care village’ at Wirral Waters in Birkenhead that will include 34 apartments. Tony McDonough reports

Belong, dementia
Belong is creating a £20m ‘care village’ in Wirral Waters


Work has started on a £20m ‘care village’ at Wirral Waters in the latest development to get under way at Peel L&P’s waterfront development.

Not-for-profit dementia specialist Belong has begun enabling works at the scheme that will see the creation of a “dementia-friendly” neighbourhood. Contractor Caddick Construction is now on-site.

Designed to support people as their needs change, the village will provide a range of specialist dementia services, including home care and day care under the Belong at Home and Experience Days brands, 34 independent living apartments and a range of amenities open to the wider community.

24-hour care will be provided in six extended family sized households, each accommodating up to 12 people, with spacious suites arranged around a shared living and dining area.

Belong has pioneered the household model which is designed to offer a “homely and reassuring” atmosphere. Its team will aim to develop positive relationships with residents, understand their needs and monitor wellbeing discreetly, aided by the open plan layout of the environment.

It will offer a number of amenities including a waterside bistro, hair salon, exercise studio, and entertainment venue with a licensed bar. Outdoor spaces include spacious balconies for each household and a rooftop garden.

Belong chief executive, Martin Rix, said: “Wirral Waters is an exciting development and we’re looking forward to welcoming the community to what will be our second Merseyside village, following the opening of Belong Birkdale, next year.”

Following the completion of the enabling works, the main contractor is due to commence onsite later this year, with completion of the build expected in 2024. This will be the 10th development for Belong which is a registered charity.

This latest development steps up the already significant activity being seen at Wirral Waters. This year has already seen the completion of the 25,000 sq ft Hythe office building and work will soon start on a £130m project to build 500 new homes.

This summer Peel L&P will also start work on a a £9m, 70,000 sq ft logistics park with the £25m Maritime Knowledge Hub also in the pipeline. However, further progress on a £55m modular homes scheme is in the balance after the collapse of Peel Partner, House by Urban Splash, earlier this month.

Richard Mawdsley, director of development for Wirral Waters at Peel L&P, added: “It’s wonderful to see even more progress along Northbank with the creation of Belong Wirral, which will offer specialist dementia care and accommodation.

“Belong’s development will be a key component of the diverse neighbourhood we are creating along Northbank.”

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