An innovative new community development which will support older people to live independently by bringing a range of health, care and housing services into a single place in North Tyneside has been given the green light to go ahead.
Recognising that traditional housing for older people needed to be transformed, Age UK North Tyneside, Northumberland Estates, North Tyneside Council and leading sector experts in health have developed a new concept in senior living that offers independence, freedom and flexibility within a community setting, and close access to health and social care facilities. The result is the Backworth Ageing Well Village, a ground-breaking community development for people living in later life.
The Village will include high-quality residential housing to cater for various lifestyle and care needs, a range of health and care services in a single place, facilities for the local community and a focus on healthy living and well-being.
Under the guidance of Bill Rowntree, an expert in integrated healthcare, a strategic partnership was established between the charity, Northumberland Estates and sector experts to deliver the health and rehabilitation services at the heart of the development. Age UK North Tyneside’s Chief Executive with Bill went on to identify the Backworth site.
Age UK North Tyneside’s Chief Executive Dawn McNally said that when the charity consulted on its 2025 strategy, people expressed a need for more housing options in later life. Age UK North Tyneside identified the need based on its own customer feedback and developed the concept locally.
Ms McNally said: “We believe that by offering housing, as well as our other services, we can provide holistic and truly integrated services for our customers.”
She added: “A very small element of planning of housing is for people in later life so that is why we are making our vision a reality here in North Tyneside.
“Housing is the bed-rock of good health and wellbeing. What makes us unique is that we are a large care provider and large charity with two different types of services in housing and health and social care.
“What better way for us to be integrated provider than to be able to offer housing and all that comes with it”.
With the number of over 65s set to increase significantly in the coming years the project is designed to create an Ageing Well Village for people living in later life that is connected to local services and public transport.
Northumberland Estates said “Collaborating with partners who recognise the benefits of the Ageing Well concept is vital to our success and Northumberland Estates is delighted to be working with Age UK North Tyneside, the North East and Cumbria Integrated Care Board (formerly North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group), North Tyneside Council, and Northumbria Healthcare on this project.
David Straughan, Northumberland Estates, Development Director, said: “The Backworth Ageing Well Village will deliver high-quality homes and support services within an inclusive, well-designed living environment to help people live well into older age. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the NHS and other stakeholders to ensure that these community developments offer the full range of facilities that help occupants live healthier, more independent lives supported by different health and social care professionals.”
The development places lifestyle and wellbeing services for local people as well as integrated health, care and frailty services all in one place to improve continuity of care within the home environment. The provision of 40 intermediate care beds, rehabilitation facilities and a frailty hub on-site aims to reduce the need for hospital admissions and provide longer-term care within the Village complex.
The project is more than health and social care provision. It is also about connecting older people to their local community with well-being and lifestyle opportunities that prioritise independence and inclusivity. The site’s proximity to existing local services along with ample pedestrian, cycle and transport links enables natural integration and connectivity to the wider area making it the ideal location to develop the Ageing Well Village.
The development also acknowledges the importance of intergenerational contact and will include a community hub with a range of facilities including a café, shop, salon, office space, gym, therapy rooms and small shops.
Sustainability will be a key feature. Sustainable and locally sourced materials will be used where possible and the plans also include extensive green infrastructure, landscaping, and useable open green space to encourage residents to use, contribute to and conserve their outdoor environment.
The Backworth Ageing Well Village has received recognition from NHS partners, Councils and other key stakeholders for its modern and innovative approach to senior living, which places the health and well-being of residents at the heart of its design. The development has been designed by P+HS architects, specialists in the residential and healthcare sectors.