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Historic farm building rises from ashes to provide homes for people with learning disabilities

An historic 400-year-old Manchester farm building which was badly damaged in an arson attack has risen from the ashes to provide homes for people with learning disabilities.

Salford-based specialist social care developer Fairhome Group Plc and Greater Manchester-based care provider Zeno Ltd have spent more than two years working in partnership with Manchester City Council, converting 16th Century Newall Green Farm in Wythenshawe into accommodation and supported living space for vulnerable adults.

The roof of the Grade II listed building, which includes a manor house and barns, was almost completely destroyed by a devastating fire back in 2014. Before that it had laid empty for a decade and had been subjected to repeated vandalism.

Now its neglected past is behind it, as it prepares to start a new life providing much needed ‘whole-life homes’ for up individuals with a learning disability or autism.

The site has undergone a multi-million pound transformation to offer a range of accommodation, from a registered care environment to shared accommodation and semi-independent living, in line with current industry best practice.

The Development has been a collaboration between Manchester City Council as the site’s freeholder, and Fairhome Group, Zeno Ltd and Hilldale Housing Association to design an ideal environment for adults with a learning disability or autism.

Zeno will be responsible for the care delivery, while the accommodation will be managed through Hilldale Housing Association and Fairhome Housing. During 2018 the land will be further developed to provide a working farm and sensory environment for adults with a learning Disability and autism.

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The official opening of the Newall Green Farm scheme took place today with the Deputy Lord Mayor of Manchester, Cllr June Hitchen, performing the opening ceremony along with Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, the largest representative body for independent social care services in the UK.

John Russell, Executive Chairman of Fairhome Group, said: “The opening of this housing development will provide new ‘whole-life’ homes for some of the most vulnerable adults in our society. And it represents the start of a new chapter in the long and fascinating history of Newall Green Farm.

“It also brings to an end nearly a decade of neglect and decline. During that time, despite the best of intentions, successive owners and developers struggled to deliver viable development schemes. Now, working with Manchester City Council and care providers Zeno Care Limited we have secured the building’s future for the long term and once again turned it into a community asset.”

Andrew Milne, Director of Zeno Limited, said: “It’s been six years since we first drew up the designs with Manchester Learning Disability Partnership, and acquired the site. To see the house back to its former glory post fire is simply incredible. The new residents moving into Newall Green Farm will benefit from the best care and support services available, as well as enjoying shared or independent living space which has been built to the highest standard.

“A scheme like this shows what can be achieved when the developer, local authority and care service provider work together to deliver high quality provision which meets the needs of vulnerable adults.”

Dr Carolyn Kus, Manchester City Council’s Executive Director for Strategic Commissioning and Director of Adult Social Care Services, said: “It’s taken a few years of detailed negotiations, hard work and the determination of all parties involved to get us to this point. But I’m delighted to say we’re finally there and have secured the delivery of this new high quality housing for people with a learning disability.

“The refurbishment has taken great care to retain the building’s historic character while it provides residents with the latest modern conveniences and housing standards. I’m sure local residents will welcome the fact this treasured local building is now back at its rightful place at the heart of the community.”

Pictured from the left are: John Russell (Executive Chairman of Fairhome Group), Martin Green (Chief Executive of Care England), Cllr June Hitchen (Deputy Lord Mayor of Manchester), Dr Carolyn Kus (Manchester City Council’s Executive Director for Strategic Commissioning and Director of Adult Social Care Services), Peter Cammack (Director of Zeno Ltd) and Andrew Milne (Director of Zeno Ltd)

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