Two high profile extra care schemes in Stoke-on-Trent, delivered by Eric Wright Construction, part of the Eric Wright Group, have been crowned some of the best in the West Midlands at the Building Excellence Awards 2017.
Willow Barns in Blurton (pictured above) was awarded Best Social or Affordable New Housing Development and a dual finalist in the Best High Volume New Housing Development and Best Public Service Building categories.
The scheme comprises 45 two-bed and 30 one-bed apartments across three, three-storey blocks and a raft of communal facilities, including a lounge, hobby and craft room, restaurant, library, beauty salon, launderette and fitness suite.
Oak Priory in Abbey Hulton was a finalist in three categories — Best Inclusive Building, Best High Volume New Housing Development and Best Social or Affordable New Housing Development. Comprising 126 two-bed and 49 one-bed apartments, the development boasts the same facilities as Willow Barns plus a sun terrace, village hall, orangery and a Reminiscence Room that mimics the interior of an old-style train.
Both developments form part of a £60m project by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Sapphire — a consortium of construction, housing, facilities management, property development and architects that will build, finance and operate the retirement villages through a 25-year partnership.
Hosted by the LABC (Local Authority Building Control), the awards celebrate the very best in construction, recognising skills and professionalism in the building sector. As a regional winner, Willow Barns will now progress onto the national grand finals held in London in November.
Willow Barns was also awarded the HAPPI (Housing our Ageing Population Positive Ideas) accolade at the Housing Design Awards 2017, recognising the architect, PRP.
John Wilson, Managing Director of Eric Wright Construction, said: “It’s always a real honour to be recognised by your industry peers, so to get two of our schemes shortlisted across a number of categories and to win, is superb. Our focus is always to deliver quality projects on time and within budget.
“Both schemes were a real partnership between Stoke-on-Trent City Council and all those involved within Sapphire and these awards are testament to everyone’s hard work and commitment.”
Sarah Houghton-Grimshaw, Retirement Living Services Manager for Your Housing Group which operates Willow Barns, added: “We’ve always known that Willow Barns is a wonderful, high-quality place to live and these awards simply confirm this.
“It’s brilliant that the scheme has been recognised in this way. Our residents and visitors always remark on the open space, the way original barn buildings have been incorporated into a modern building, and the sense that it’s a genuinely special place to live.”
Councillor Ann James, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, concluded: “It’s fantastic news that two of our extra care complexes have been recognised in this way. We look forward to seeing how well Willow Barns fares at the national grand finals in November.”