Belong’s sixth care village, in Newcastle-under-Lyme was officially opened by Ian Dudson CBE, The Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire on Tuesday 6 November 2018. Whilst the £13.5 million care home has been operational since April 2018 the official opening event was an opportunity to celebrate a building which is not only offering outstanding care to its residents but also providing valuable facilities to the local community while commemorating the history of the site.
To develop the site, Belong partnered with a specialist developer for the first time to help realise its plans for growth. Prime worked closely with Belong to secure a strategic site in the heart of the town centre and managed the design, development and construction to deliver a high-quality scheme that could offer a range of specialist services for older people.
In addition, Prime supported Belong to secure a £1.8m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable the restoration of the former Grade II-listed Maxims building, which now houses the Belong Heritage Gallery. Thanks to National Lottery players, this public facility links the past and present celebrating the rich history of the town through a range of spaces and exhibits, including Samuel Bell’s Tea Room, a recreation of the Old Pomona Inn, the Maxims Memories installation, a library and arts and crafts room.
The history of the site was celebrated during the opening event by a performance of ‘Lost & Found at Maxims’, a promenade theatre production developed and performed by the New Vic Theatre Borderlines group, which tells the story of the Belong site and the significance it has held for the community of Newcastle-under-Lyme over the last century.
Heather Alexander, Communications Executive at Prime who attended the event said “It was an honour to attend the official opening of Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme to celebrate the outstanding facility which was developed following an innovative collaboration between Prime and Belong. It was fantastic to see first-hand what an integral part of the community the building has become in only a few short months.”