A PROJECT to turn a derelict former school building into a £5m care village and community hub is taking shape.
Ever since the YEP first reported on the scheme to redevelop the Seacroft Grange site, right, workmen have been on the scene and the new buildings have been steadily rising.
Last September, the YEP exclusively revealed the plans by Garforth-based Springfield Healthcare Group.
The project is set to see the Seacroft Grange building, which dates back to 1627, become the centrepiece of a modern new care complex.
But the developers also want the complex to become a hub for the whole community as well as creating around 100 jobs.
The new Seacroft Grange Care Village will include 17 self-contained apartments, 79 en suite bedrooms as well as spa and day care facilities and a community cafe.
Graeme Lee, chairman of Springfield Healthcare Group, said: “It’s been a five-year plan and I’m delighted to have brought this project from vision to reality. We’ve been so overwhelmed by the support from the local residents because this is all about being at the heart of the Seacroft community.”
As well as day care, the village will offer specialist intermediate care, specialist nursing care and continuing and palliative care.
When Springfield were putting the plans together, they worked extensively with local residents, discussing exactly how they would revamp the Grade II listed building, which has been something of a Seacroft landmark for many years.
Lily Woods, chairman of the Seacroft Green Residents Association, said: “We’re very excited about what’s happening and we’ve given the project our full support.
“There’s been a lot of good work done here and this is going to help turn the area around even more. It’s such a beautiful old building that’s been empty far too long and it will be great to see it back in use.”
The house was originally known as Tottie Hall and was the home of the Tottie family.
In 1837 it became the property of John Wilson, when it became known as Seacroft Grange and was used as a primary school from 1941 until 1972, then as an Adult Education Centre.
But the building has now stood derelict for well over a decade and residents are looking forward to it getting a new lease of life.
Speaking on the day work began on the site, resident Robert Taylor-Marshall, 66, said: “I think it’s absolutely marvellous. We’ve all been waiting for this for a long, long time.”
Work on the village is expected to be completed by October.
The project has been partly funded by the Business Growth Fund, which helps firms by making long-term capital investments of £2 million to £10m in ambitious companies.