Funding bump for refurbishment of supported living scheme in Blyth is approved by councillors

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An investment of more than £700,000 to refurbish a supported living scheme in Blyth has been approved by Northumberland County Council’s cabinet.

Bob Elliott House, which was built in the 1980s, consists of 31 flats for older people who require additional support to live independently. However, the common room areas of the development are now dated and require modernisation.

At Tuesday’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s cabinet, members unanimously agreed to approve the use of £218,000 from the major repairs reserve for the project. A £500,000 spend was approved by cabinet in February, bringing the total cost to £718,000.

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Speaking at the meeting, cabinet member for social care Wendy Pattison said: “Bob Elliott House allows its residents to live independently in a smaller and more secure home that is easier to manage, yet offers support.

Bob Elliott House in Blyth will be refurbished. (Photo by Google)Bob Elliott House in Blyth will be refurbished. (Photo by Google)
Bob Elliott House in Blyth will be refurbished. (Photo by Google)

“The communal areas of the scheme have deteriorated over the years and are in need of refurbishment and modernisation. We feel as a council that it is important residents can enjoy each other’s company in a comfortable and pleasant environment.”

The council has used specialist design consultants to design the improvements, with a specific colour scheme and furniture identified that is dementia-friendly and suitable for disabled residents. Work is expected to commence on site at the end of February next year.

The scheme is named after Robert S. Elliott, an unemployed miner and prominent member of the National Unemployed Workers Movement. He marched in the Tyneside contingent of the NUWM’s 1934 Hunger March to London and was later elected as the Communist councillor for the Croft ward on Blyth Council in 1931.