Work Begins on Plans to Convert Orphanage

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Byline: REDEVELOPMENT Iain Laing? 0191 201 6429 ? iain.laing@ncjmedia.co.uk

KEEPMOAT has started work on the PS4.5m project to redevelop a Grade II-listed former orphanage in Sunderland.

The project includes the refurbishment of The Old Orphanage in Hendon plus construction of a new, state-of-the-art extra care housing scheme in the grounds, with 38 apartments.

The scheme is aimed at people over 55 with a dementia diagnosis, and will provide one and two-bedroom apartments and communal space, with a hair salon, restaurant, activity room and landscaped gardens. The demolition of annexes and a derelict community centre is set to start, and the whole project is due for completion in late summer 2014.

The orphanage opened in 1861 as purpose-built accommodation for sons of seafarers, and the extra care housing scheme will be named Seafarers Way in acknowledgement. Both buildings will be managed by housing association and community interest company, Inclusion Housing.

Mark Kearney, operations director for Keepmoat, said: "This orphanage is a historic landmark within the city, and Keepmoat are proud to be involved in refurbishing it and bringing it back into use.

"To provide an extra care scheme within the grounds maximises the opportunities for the community, alongside providing much-needed, well-designed and quality independent living." The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Iain Kay, said: "This building is iconic and an important piece of Sunderland's history. …