£2m respite centre for disabled adults opens in Mereside

A Mereside block of flats has been transformed into a cosy home away from home where adults with disabilities can enjoy short holidays and care.

By Wes Holmes
Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 3:45 pm

The new Coopers @ Ambleside,on Ambleside Road, was officially opened by the Mayor of Blackpool, Kathryn Benson, today (July 20).

The building, known as Colton House, was previously used as supported living accommodation for people with learning disabilities.

It has now been turned into a new purpose built two-storey modern facility with six bedrooms, state-of-the-art assisted technology, a kitchen, lounge, duty office, laundry, sensory and garden rooms, and staff facilities. Sensory adaptions were also added to meet the needs of people with autism, following consultation with NHS England, care providers and the CCG.

The opening of Coopers @ Ambleside

Work began on the £2m refurbishment – which is an extension of the Coopers @ Devonshire respite and short breaks service – in 2019, funded by NHS England and topped up by Blackpool Council.

Coun Jo Farrell, cabinet member for adult social care, said: “I am absolutely delighted to see Coopers @ Ambleside open and people already reaping the benefits of a new purpose built facility for respite and short breaks.

“It is has taken longer than planned for it to open due to the pandemic but it has been worth the wait.

“As soon as you walk in you feel a lovely, homely atmosphere. It is so important for parents and carers to have a much-needed break but they need to feel happy where their loved ones are staying. We are already receiving wonderful feedback.”

The new Coopers @ Ambleside

The new facility was designed by parents, carers and service users who worked with architects to ensure the needs of disabled people would be proper met while also achieving a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere.

It is hoped it will provide better support for disabled people and their families in order to reduce stress at home and lower the number of hospital admissions.

Michael Conlon, chairman at Conlon Construction, which carried out the development, said: “The completion of Colton House marks another major milestone in our ongoing relationship with Blackpool Council, having worked on numerous high-profile schemes in the town, whilst currently on-site with several others.

“This purpose-built facility will support the provision of high quality care for those with complex needs and we worked hand-in-hand with all those involved to create a centre that supports current and future care priorities, whilst driving significant added value locally and forging a lasting legacy that stretches beyond the build.”

The new Coopers @ Ambleside

Dan Thorpe, associate director and architect at Cassidy and Ashton, the lead architect for the project, said: “It has been a pleasure to work on this project with the service users and their families, staff team and Blackpool Council.

“The scheme utilises a more open plan environment, reducing the need for corridors and providing bright, open and welcoming living areas.

“The design aims to facilitate the fantastic level of care that the staff team provide, and its success is a result of the stakeholder workshops that were held at the start of the scheme. Seeing the building now in operation, following great work by Conlon Construction, we are immensely proud to have had the opportunity to play our part in the project.”