Chester MP Chris Matheson swapped the backbenches for the cab of a heavy-duty forklift truck for a day, when, decked in hi-vis jacket, boots and hard hat, he laid the foundation stone at a £15.7m state-of-the-art care village development in the city by not-for-profit organisation, Belong.
The foundation stone ceremony marks a milestone in the construction of the specialist dementia care provider’s latest development, which will become Belong’s ninth village when completed in autumn this year, creating 140 new jobs in the process.
Speaking at the event, Chris Matheson said: “It’s a privilege to play a part in the progress of the new Belong care village. The village’s location at the heart of the city and the range of services it will offer the local community, including industry-leading dementia care, means it is of huge significance for Chester.”
Belong deputy chief executive, Tracy Paine, added: “We are delighted that Chris Matheson helped us to mark this stage in the construction of Belong Chester by performing the foundation stone ceremony. Once open, we look forward to our vibrant community playing its part in the city and to providing our high quality services to the local area, including our award winning home care service, Belong at Home.”
The new development, on City Road, will provide class-leading dementia care and accommodation for over 100 people. It will provide 24-hour care and nursing support to 72 people in extended family sized households. In addition, the village will provide 23, one and two bedroom independent living apartments, together with a range of facilities open to the public, including a bistro, hair salon, exercise studio, therapy rooms and function rooms, all designed to promote maximum engagement with the local community.