York & North Yorkshire

£20m elderly care scheme proposed for Thirsk

Lambert Memorial Community Hospital, Thirsk. Picture South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust
Image caption Under the proposals Thirsk's community hospital could be demolished

More than £20m could be spent on new care facilities for the elderly at Thirsk in North Yorkshire.

The scheme would involve the replacement of an elderly people's home with a new and larger extra care housing development.

A new health centre, replacing the town's community hospital, and a community library could also be built

North Yorkshire County Council said the scheme was a "once in generation opportunity".

The Conservative-run council said it believed extra care housing offered older people the care and support they may need while enabling them to maintain a level of independence.

Its own figures suggest one in four of North Yorkshire's population will be aged over 65 and there will be an increase of 65% in the number of people aged over 85 by the end of the decade.

The scheme would involve the replacement of Cherry Garth, the county council's elderly people's home, with a new and larger extra care housing development in Chapel Street.

The 16-bed Lambert Memorial Community Hospital would be replaced with a new health centre.

A second extra care housing facility is being proposed as part of a major housing development at nearby Sowerby.

Gareth Dadd, county councillor for Thirsk, said: "This is a once in a generation opportunity. If the two extra care schemes come to fruition there will be state-of-the-art accommodation in Thirsk and Sowerby for upwards of 175 elderly people."

The county council is working on the scheme in partnership with national housing association, Housing 21, and Keepmoat, a regeneration specialist.

The authority said funding for the scheme would come from its partners, existing budgets for social care and government grants.

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