Orbis Abbey Rose in Tewkesbury welcomed in its first visitors at a special event attended by local residents, healthcare professionals and dignitaries including the Mayor of Tewskesbury Borough.
Prospective and existing families supported by site owner Orbis Education and Care were also invited to view the results of an extensive refurbishment scheme transforming the former children’s home into a state-of-the-art facility.
Orbis Abbey Rose will now educate and home 30 children who have complex needs associated with autism and is set to create 300 jobs in total when full, as a result.
Mike Currier, CEO at Orbis Education and Care, said: “Our vision for Orbis Abbey Rose as a regional centre for excellence in autism support has finally been realised, and we are delighted to be sharing the results at long last with the local community.
“It has been important for us to establish relationships not just with Gloucestershire and the neighbouring authorities, but with residents in the surrounding community that we look forward to continue working with in order to bring this vision to fruition in its entirety.”
Situated on a 17-acre site and formerly known as Southwick Park, the school and residential home has been given new life after it closed under the Cambian Group in April 2018.
Opened by its former owners in 2013 to house 40 children, Wales-based Orbis Education and Care has remodelled the residential part of the school to accommodate 30 children.
Visitors including Lord Mayor of Tewskesbury, Councillor Ruth Hatton, came to see for themselves the changes made and meet members of the Orbis Education and Care team, marking the launch of the company’s first school and residential home in England in the process.
Mike added: “Orbis Abbey Rose has some wonderful facilities and even a battlefield from the War of the Roses within its gardens – hence the name Abbey Rose – as well as extensive grounds and a sports hall, among other things.
“We are therefore looking forward to bringing all that we’ve learned in Wales to England for the benefit of families and employees here in Gloucestershire, and are excited to finally be inviting new residents, students and staff alike in to enjoy this wonderful facility too.”