A £10 million investment will see a multi-purpose specialist care home being built in County Armagh – and the creation of 70 specialist jobs, Armagh I can reveal.
It will see the redevelopment of a former and derelict convent building in Lurgan – as well as surrounding lands – to accommodate a 70-bed care home.
Not just that, the plans will include an assisted living village, a nurse training centre, 11 family homes, together with substantial car parking.
The old Providence House convent at Cornakinnegar Road is at the centre of the ambitious scheme, with Manor Court Health the preferred operator.
An application for the development had been submitted to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for consideration.
And it will be presented with a recommendation to approve when the council’s planning committee sits in Banbridge on Wednesday.
The applicant is Green Bee Developments Ltd.
While Providence House is currently sitting derelict it is described as “structurally sound”, which lends itself to conversion.
The plan is to retain the old convent and create a new front to Cornakinnegar Road through the establishment of a new landmark building.
The assisted living element is designed to avail of being adjacent to the nursing home, which will allow for a cross over of services.
The 11 houses will be designed to have a courtyard style around a square, with individual private amenity areas and car parking obscured from public view.
Preferred operator Manor Health Care currently has three nursing homes and one domiciliary care agency throughout Northern Ireland – at Rathfriland, in County Down, and Ballyclare and Templepatrick in County Antrim.
Its core activities relate to support and residential accommodation for older people.
Manor Health say they identified the lack of age specific care facilities in Northern Ireland as a “real issue” and expect the need for such a facility to grow in the coming years.
Based on the regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) there are only 246 beds in the Lurgan area.
It has also been identified that, on the basis of the age profile of the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council area, the elderly population is expected to be more than twice the Northern Ireland average.
In terms of the population target market for care services, it is likely this will increase from 31, 900 people in 2010 to 41,800 people in 2022.
Planning officials, therefore, in recommending approval, say the site is located in a “most appropriate location to address this impending future need”.
It is predicted the development will deliver significant economic and regeneration benefits with some £10 million invested in the local area through the creation of construction jobs and the operation of the facility, which will create 70 specialist jobs.
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