Minister of State for Health Mike O’Brien has officially opened the award-winning Mill Rise Village – an innovative extra care village in North Staffordshire.
One of the first schemes in the country to successfully integrate housing and purpose built healthcare facilities, the £15 million project was developed by a pioneering partnership of eight organisations including Aspire Housing, NHS North Staffordshire and Prima 200, together with private sector development partner, Prime plc.
Rt. Hon Mike O’Brien said: “I’m delighted to be here today and to see the transformation that has taken place.”
“Mill Rise provides excellent facilities for local people to enjoy and benefit from – they are facilities that the NHS and the local community can be very proud of.”
Designed by One Creative Environments Ltd the village combines 60 one and two-bedroom apartments with a primary care centre and pharmacy, plus welcoming public areas with a piazza, restaurant, café, bar and hair salon.
It provides healthcare to more than 7,000 people in the local communities of Knutton and Cross Heath who are registered with the three GP practices at the centre. Mill Rise also hosts physiotherapy, blood testing, speech and language therapy, baby clinics, nursing services and a fitness suite which provides rehabilitation.
Sinead Butters, Chief Executive of the Aspire Group, said: “Our very first extra care scheme was a complex project that has emerged as a flagship project for the regeneration of the local area.
“Mill Rise has given local older people a significantly improved quality of life by allowing them to live independently in their own homes, with easy access to vital services and flexible care and support.
“The development is a leading example of first-class partnership working. The complexity of the project and its funding, and the need to meet the differing requirements of all involved, make it an achievement of which we can all be proud.”
She added: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister of Health to Mill Rise and give him the opportunity to meet some of the people who made it happen.”
Pupils from Knutton St Mary’s School and local MP Paul also attended the official launch.