St John’s Winchester prepares to forge ahead with its expansion plans to maximise potential housing in the city for local older people.
Preparatory works at its Colebrook Street site are expected to begin in March 2021. This development will see 15 new almshouses connected directly to the Charity’s existing city centre community, comprising a state-of-the-art block of fully adapted apartments, to enable older people to live independently for as long as possible. The new and older almshouses will be integrated with the existing Southside almshouses and will sit in a landscaped area. The development will bring the added benefit of the reformation of a character building, namely 108 Colebrook Street.
The Colebrook development represents a first step in ambitious plans the Charity is developing to expand its accommodation and services. These will focus on building vibrant and supportive communities for local older people and helping older people to live well in the wider community (including those living with dementia and their families) through innovative services such as Hand in Hand.
The Charity had proposed to develop additional almshouses on its Chesil Street site. The next challenge for the Charity is to build further supportive communities for older people on larger sites which will better support energy efficient and future-proof housing, state-of-the-art facilities and have sufficient scale to make care and support economic. St John’s will continue its site investigation efforts for further construction in future years.
The Charity decided to dispose of its ownership in Chesil Street and to realise funds for re-investment in new developments. St John’s Winchester is pleased to be able to support the expansion plans of Winchester Dramatic Society (WDS). Its planned Annexe will mean a significant improvement in on-site facilities, which should bring wider community benefits.
In addition to the sale to WDS, the Charity has completed the sale of land on the site to a private buyer, and contracts are exchanged for the sale of the remaining portion of the site for the refurbishment of three derelict cottages which front Chesil Street.
St John’s Chair of Trustees, Roger Bright, said: “We are at a very exciting stage of the Charity’s growth; we have much work to do and are determined to forge ahead with our plans to develop our services to benefit more local older people including those of limited means. We intend to build success of our Hand in Hand community outreach and social prescribing service which has operated throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
As a registered charity we have great respect for the charitable and community-focused activities of the Chesil Theatre and are pleased we have reached a mutually beneficial agreement. We continue to support WDS with the building of their annexe in order to enhance significantly the current theatre.”
Clive Cook, Chief Executive, said: “St John’s has a long history of over nine centuries, and the new units on Colebrook Street will ensure we can continue to support older people in the community in a sustainable way. The Colebrook Street site will allow the St John’s almshouse community to endure and flourish in the city within a modern setting, with occupiers of the new units having the benefit to integrate into our existing community and have direct access to our wonderful city centre.
You can read more on the Hampshire Chronicle here.