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Work begins on new Beccles care home

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 November 2015

Robert Blackham and Sally Crawford in the former Dell Care Home. Plans have been approved for a new 60 bed care home on the 1.7 acre site.

Robert Blackham and Sally Crawford in the former Dell Care Home. Plans have been approved for a new 60 bed care home on the 1.7 acre site.

© Archant 2015

The first stage of work has begun to build a new residential care home to replace an existing home in Beccles which closed late last year.

Robert Blackham and Sally Crawford in the former Dell Care Home. Plans have been approved for a new 60 bed care home on the 1.7 acre site.Robert Blackham and Sally Crawford in the former Dell Care Home. Plans have been approved for a new 60 bed care home on the 1.7 acre site.

Planning permission was granted last month for Earsham-based Cygnet Care to build the new 60-bed facility on the site of the former Dell care home, in Nelson Way.

The multi-million pound project will see a completely new building constructed on the 1.7-acre site. Demolition work on the existing building began this week and will continue until the end of January 2016.

The new home will focus on providing access to the gardens, with views overlooking the Waveney Valley and playing fields of Sir John Lemon high school.

It will care for up to 60 elderly residents with facilities including a cafe, shop, cinema, salon, family room and bedrooms with direct access to gardens and fist floor garden terraces.

It will also have three close-care lodges in the grounds where residents have their own house but can come into the main building for meals and activities.

Cygnet Care is owned and managed by the Blackham Family. Robert Blackham, one of the directors, said: “This is a big step for our little company but as a team, we can compete our service with the larger corporate care providers.

“We hope the new Dell will be a real asset for the people of Beccles.

“We will literally start again with the building work, with the first building work due to begin mid-2016 and it will take about a year to complete.”

The Dell is a particularly emotive project for fellow Cygnet Care director and Mr Blackham’s sister Sally Crawford, who worked as a care assistant at the Dell for around 23 years. It was the place where she trained and developed her career in care.

She said: “I have very happy memories of my time at The Dell and am very proud to think a small organisation like ours is taking on this responsibility of developing a new Dell.

“It was built in the 1950s but by the time we bought it earlier this year it was just outdated, and hadn’t changed very much. The rooms were not big enough. Not many had en-suite facilities.

“But it was always well run and had a real community feel about it even then, and we’d like to see that come back.”

It comes as another of the company’s homes, The Moorings in Earsham, is opening a new extension with 18 ground floor bedrooms set around landscaped gardens.

A family-run organisation with over 60 years of experience in running residential care services for the elderly, Cygnet Care runs four other homes in Norfolk and Suffolk including Chevington Lodge in Bungay, The Moorings in Earsham and Cresta Lodge in Poringland.

Have you got a story for Beccles? Email lynn.crombie@archant.co.uk or call 01502 712060.

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