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New name for Acle scheme unveiled at ‘Steel Signing’ event

Saffron Housing Trust have celebrated the work underway at a new independent living scheme in Acle, Norfolk with a ‘Steel Signing’ event this week (Wednesday 7th July).

The steel framework of the future entrance has been signed by Saffron’s Chief Executive James Francis and representatives from key partners – Norfolk County Council, NorseCare and R G Carter.

The new name for the scheme ‘Swallowtail Place’ was also unveiled at the event after Saffron worked with Acle Primary School. Year 6 pupils had the opportunity to submit their suggestions to a panel, which included Saffron’s Executive Team. The shortlist was then shared with Saffron tenants who decided the winner. 11 year old Jack Bondi was the successful pupil and also had the opportunity to sign his name on the steel framework.

The event marks the first phase of the project. James Francis, Chief Executive at Saffron, said: “This has been a fantastic example of partnership working and I’m really pleased we have been able to come together to celebrate what has been achieved so far on the site.

“The scheme will provide much-needed, quality homes for people who need some additional support but can live independently and feel part of a community.”

Supported by Homes England, the site will see 58 new affordable homes being built (41 affordable rent and 17 Shared Ownership), allowing people aged over 55 with care needs to live independently, creating not only much needed housing but also enhancing the appearance of the local area.

James Bullion, Norfolk County Council’s Executive Director for Adult Social Services, said: “It’s wonderful to see work underway here at Acle: we know this kind of scheme can give its residents real freedom and independence, while also providing the support they need in a single package, and I can’t wait to see this new scheme open its doors and welcome its first residents. We’re working hard to make more of these Independent Living homes available in Norfolk, and the work here in Acle shows just what can be achieved with the right partners.”

The scheme will consist of one and two-bedroom self-contained flats and with the inclusion of communal spaces such as a lounge, activity room, retail/café space and a hair salon as well as outside areas, residents will remain active in the community.

On-site care and support will also be available 24/7 giving residents and their families peace of mind that support is close to hand if needed.

Martin Rix, Chief Operating Officer at NorseCare said: “NorseCare are extremely proud to be working with all the partners for this stunning scheme and look forward to creating a first class and vibrant care facility for all of the tenants with strong links to the Acle community”.

Norfolk-based R G Carter are the contractors on site and their Director, Alex Mackay, added: “The event is a great opportunity to celebrate progress of this much-needed development with an enjoyable event for staff and key stakeholders involved in this project. It’s been great to see Norfolk County Council and Saffron Housing’s vision come to life and we look forward to handing over this high-quality housing for the local community.”

Property and construction consultancy Ingleton Wood is providing architecture, planning, and mechanical and electrical services for the development.

Andrew Collett, Senior Associate and Architect at Ingleton Wood, based across the East of England including Norwich and Colchester, said: “We recognise the need to develop modern specialist accommodation within our local communities and our multi-disciplinary services have allowed us to design a fully-inclusive, warm and welcoming development that will allow residents with care needs to live independent lives in high-quality and carefully adapted housing.

“A communal café, a hairdressers and landscaped gardens are set to be among the standout features to help make this development a truly pleasant place to live whilst blending seamlessly into the surrounding environment within the heart of the community. We look forward to progressing our plans with key partners – and we knew the schoolchildren would come up with such a lovely name for the site!”

The development is due for completion in Autumn 2022.

Photo: Fisheye Images