100 jobs to be created as former Lindsey Lower School to be redeveloped into dementia unit
ONE hundred new jobs will be created as a result of the redevelopment of the former Lindsey Lower School site, with an annual £80,000 boost to the local economy.
North East Lincolnshire Council has sold the Clee Road asset – worth between £750,000 and £1-million – for an undisclosed sum to Yorkare Homes Ltd, which will transform it into a £5-million state-of-the-art nursing home specialising in dementia complete with an "indoor street".
It was one of nine bids for the building, which has been empty for five years, and was chosen over bids to transform it into a hotel with spa and complex, knocking it down and building 57 homes and Rock Foundation's hopes to turn it into facility for the disabled.
Development manager for Yorkare, Laurence Garton, is confident the 80-bed home will be the "best nursing facility" in the region.
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He said: "This is a much-needed care facility for the area. There are no nursing beds in the surrounding wards and we will be providing essential care for an area that has an aging population.
"It will also be a big boost to the local economy, creating 100 jobs which will bring in £1-billion plus in wages each year.
"We are very happy and very excited about creating this for Cleethorpes because it needs the care facility."
Yorkare's bid scored the highest as it and the other bids were marked against criteria including: retaining the original 1925 structures, social benefits and the bidder's ability to fund and sustain their proposals.
The home will be split into two specialised units – one in nursing and residential care and another in dementia care – with the gymnasium and assembly hall converted into an indoor "street scene" with imitation housing, front gardens and working shops, a pub, hair and beauty salon, cinema and gym.
They also will use local contractors for the building of the home – which will see the assembly hall and gym transformed into the "indoor street".
The jobs created will be a mix of medical professions – from doctors to care assistants – to shop assistants, hair dressers and bar staff to work in the indoor shop.
Deputy leader of NELC, Councillor Mick Burnett, said: "This bid scored the highest out of all the other bids. It will bring some very specialised jobs to the area. It is not only a really good use for the building, which means so much to the people of Cleethorpes, but it is also a job creator which is also needed in the borough.
"It puts the old school to a really good use. The residents have, quite rightly, raised issues about it being empty for so long so to retain it and turn it into a dementia home is a really good thing."
The news has disappointed other bidders, none more so than charity Rock Foundation, which wanted NELC to hand over the building for free.
The organisation, currently based at Holme Hill School, is now looking for "desperately needed" new premises.
Pam Hodge said: "We are obviously very sorry we haven't got it, mainly for our service users and their parents and guardians, but we are pleased that it is going to a much-needed facility for the community.
"But we do need other premises desperately. It is back to the drawing board for us – not finding another premises is not an option."
Figures show there will be 3,000 people living with dementia in North East Lincolnshire in the next ten years – nearly five times more than the 617 there are now.
Dementia support manager for North East Lincolnshire, Emily Cross, added: "It is different to what we already have, it shows innovation in supporting people with dementia and very promising for everyone affected by dementia."
Lawrence Brown, of Scotts Property, which marketed the building for the council, said: "The sale of Lindsey Lower School attracted a lot of interest both locally, regionally and nationally.
"There are a couple of issues that need clarifying, in particular relating to the longer term future of the building but, on the assumption that Yorkare are able to confirm these details, we will move forward into the legal process as quickly as possible."