The 19th century hospital wing that been turned into extra care living in Leeds

The first residents of the Lady Ida Lodge extra care scheme in Cookridge, Leeds, have celebrated moving into their new homes by challenging the contractor, Esh Construction, and housing provider, Housing 21, to an outdoor chess event.

Lady Ida Lodge was built on the site of the former Cookridge Hospital in Leeds
Lady Ida Lodge was built on the site of the former Cookridge Hospital in Leeds

Lady Ida Lodge is a 64-apartment extra care scheme on the site of the former Cookridge Hospital, which promotes independent living in a community setting, with access to round-the-clock on-site care and support.

Offering one and two-bedroom homes for social rent and shared ownership, residents have access to a communal lounge and garden area, as well as a bistro and a hair salon.

Paul Watson, executive director of Esh Construction, said: “As a contractor, we don’t usually see the end user enjoying and bringing to life what we have built. Lady Ida Lodge is a really special development for us, one which we are very proud to have delivered, and therefore we were keen to meet some of the residents and celebrate this new fantastic new facility alongside our client, Housing 21.”

The project has restored the dilapidated Grade II listed former Cookridge Hospital Ida Wing, which had been derelict for over 10 years. A four-storey extension and single-storey link building has brought the building into the 21st century times and back into viable use.

The Ida Wing dates back to 1889 when it was built as an addition to the Cookridge Convalescence Hospital on the same site.

Among the residents is Audrey, a former nurse at the Ida Wing. She said: “I moved into Lady Ida Lodge after my own home became unsuitable. I feel like I have come back home as I was a nurse at Ida Hospital during the Sixties and Seventies. I’m enjoying living here, everyone is so caring and friendly.”

Alan White, construction project manager at Housing 21, said: “A big thank you to Esh Construction for delivering such a quality scheme and for the donation of the giant chess pieces, we’re sure these will provide many hours of enjoyment over the coming years for our residents at Lady Ida Lodge. It’s really fantastic to see how Langtry Langton Architects have married the design of the existing grade two listed building with the new build element.”