Redevelopment of former Great Harwood school takes shape

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

A £5m project to build ground-breaking services for people with disabilities on the site of the former North Cliffe School in Great Harwood is now well underway.

Work began with the demolition of the old school buildings in summer 2020. The main contract building work commenced on 26 October with the foundations for two new buildings having now been laid.

One of the buildings is a short break service for children and young people. This service will provide overnight support for up to six children with special educational needs and disabilities at a time. Play facilities are also being built next to the centre.

This facility will replace the short break service at Hargreaves House in Oswaldtwistle, which runs from a building which is in a poor condition with little outdoor space and few play facilities.

The second building will be a short break service for adults with disabilities. This service will provide short breaks for up to eight adults at a time, enabling families and carers to have an opportunity to take a break.

This new service will replace the current Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Adult Short Break services, with fully equipped and modernised facilities on one level. The accommodation will include en-suite bedrooms, lounges, communal areas, a separate annexe to offer flexible support to individuals and fully landscaped grounds.

Both of these short break services will be operated and managed by Lancashire County Council. They will be used for both planned and emergency short stays.

County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: "It's tremendous to see the new buildings taking shape.

"The children's short break service will be a great improvement on the service we currently offer.

"The staff do a superb job, but the building and level of equipment will be much improved. There will also be new and much better outdoor play facilities, which are a vital part of children's care.

"The new service will form an important part of our short breaks offer for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities."

County Councillor Graham Gooch, cabinet member for adult services, said: "These cutting-edge facilities will be a massive improvement over the ones we currently have in Hyndburn and Ribble Valley, and are similar to facilities we have in other parts of Lancashire.

"Our excellent staff already provide high quality care, but these new facilities mean we can deliver an even better service to the people of Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley. Unlike the current facilities, the new service will be on one ground-floor level, offering much better access to all the site.

"The new short break services will form a vital part of the local health and social care system. We're pleased to develop new facilities like these, which make a huge difference to the lives of people with disabilities and their families across East Lancashire."

The work on these new facilities is due to be completed in March 2022. Further details about when the services will be operational will be available near the time.

Tagged as: Children, Education and Families Health and Social Care Young People

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