Celebrations mark start of work on site at care development in Worcester

Robin Walker MP marked the start of work at Sanctuary Group’s major new care development at the University Park site in St John’s, by planting a commemorative tree.

The £22 million scheme, currently known as Sanctuary Grove, is funded by Sanctuary and the Homes and Communities Agency and is Sanctuary’s largest care development to date. It will comprise a 60-bed care home, a 60-unit extra care scheme and a mix of 40 close care apartments and bungalows where residents will be able to access a variety of care and support as needed. The development also features a central hub providing a range of shared facilities for future residents.

Through its investment in Sanctuary Grove, the leading housing and care provider will not only deliver much needed care and support facilities for local people but will also create a range of training and employment opportunities, both during the construction process and once the care development is up and running.

Robin Walker, Member of Parliament for Worcester and Commons Select Committee Member for Business, Innovation & Skills, joined Sanctuary and its partners on Friday 24 January to learn more about the scheme and celebrate the start of construction at the site.

Guests were able to take a closer look at the plans for the development before MP Robin Walker planted a young English oak tree, symbolising the start of the project and the economic growth it will bring to the city.

Sanctuary’s Group Director of Development, Peter Martin said:

“This is a key development for Sanctuary and we have high expectations for the scheme, not only in terms of the quality care and accommodation it will provide for people in Worcester, but also the new employment opportunities it will generate.”

He confirmed that through its regional construction partner Stepnell, Sanctuary would be offering new apprenticeships on the site, a programme of work experience placements and student site visits, and looking to support a number of community groups and projects in the local neighbourhood.

MP Robin Walker said:

“I was delighted to formally mark the start of the works on site today by planting a tree at Sanctuary Grove, the Group’s largest care development in Worcester to date.

“This is a key investment for our local area and one that people of all ages will benefit from. The scheme will support opportunities for work experience, for apprentices, and also for experienced workers to gain employment. It will benefit the service users, who can access a flexible care model which adapts to their changing needs and it adds much needed housing for the elderly, which in turn can free up family housing elsewhere in the city.”

Mark Wakeford, Stepnell’s managing director, added:

“During the construction of Sanctuary Grove we will be working with our supply chain and other community groups to create a range of trade apprenticeships, jobs and trades skills training opportunities. As a family owned-business we see enormous value in doing this. We gain from bringing talented people into our business and our industry and we also contribute to the long-term sustainability of the local economy.”

Sanctuary Grove, due for completion in the spring of 2015, is located near to the new St John’s House Medical Centre on the University Park site. The development forms part of a wider scheme by the university which will include a Health & Wellbeing campus, a Business and Enterprise campus and a University Learning campus.