Blackpool to get £1.6m respite centre for young adults with special needs

A £1.6m project to build a respite care centre for young adults with complex needs in Blackpool is under way.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 12:30 pm

Bamber Bridge-based Conlon Construction has been hired by Blackpool Council to redevelop the former Colton House on Ambleside Road Mereside into the new unit.

It will cater for people with learning disabilities or autism and will aim to reduce the need for them to be supported in hospital settings and also integrate people back to their families and communities from hospitals more quickly.

Previously the building was used as three flats providing supported living accommodation for people with learning disabilities.

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Conlon has started work on a £1.6m respite centre . Pictured left to right are Neil Conlon, Bradley Thompson of Blackpool and and project manager, Paul Dixon

But after conversion, the two-storey modern facility will have six bedrooms, state-of-the-art assisted technologies, a dining-kitchen area, lounge, duty office, laundry, sensory and garden rooms, and staff facilities.

Neil Conlon, business development director at Conlon Construction, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed by Blackpool Council to work on the former Colton House to develop a new modern centre, providing respite care and rehabilitation for those with a learning disability.”

The work is expected to complete in October and will benefit from Conlon Construction’s ongoing CSR agenda, which is applied to all its live developments.

The contractor promises that 80 per cent of the supply chain for the project will be sourced from within a 30-mile radius of the site, focussing on the FY4 and FY1 areas, and that the development will be used to create opportunities for young local people.

Working closely with Blackpool Council, Positive Steps and Chance 2 Shine, Conlon Construction has provided Bradley Thompson, 17, pictured, with his first taste of construction work on the development, with four weeks of work experience.

Bradley said: “I have previously had jobs working on cars, in fabrication and at a small building site but the last four weeks has given me a taste of ‘real’ construction work. I’m enjoying working with such an experienced and professional team and I’m grateful for the opportunity. I’m excited for where this could take me in the future.”

Coun Jo Farrell, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health at Blackpool Council, said: “It is great to see work progressing on this facility. It is going to provide much-needed respite care for adults with a learning disability and/or who are on the autistic spectrum. As well as young learning-disabled people as part of their transition to adulthood who would otherwise have to be looked after at a higher cost out of the area.

“I’m delighted that the local community are also benefiting during the development phase. Whenever projects take place in Blackpool, we try to ensure that there is a social value impact whether that be through using local suppliers or employing local residents.

Neil Conlon added: “Young people need this type of on-site work to gain an understanding of the skills that different roles in construction require. Conlon have worked with NEETs on several programmes across Lancashire and the North West, and we are keen to continue supporting Positive Steps and Chance 2 Shine in Blackpool on our forthcoming projects.”

Conlon Construction is currently working on several projects across Blackpool and the wider Fylde region including Blackpool Council projects, the enterprise zone sports facilities and Blackpool Museum.

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