Oak Priory. (photo: )
Oak Priory.
06.12.2016, 21:41

25-Year Stoke PFI Contract

Eric Wright Facilities Management (EWFM), part of the Eric Wright Group, has commenced a 25-year contract to service three retirement villages in Stoke-on-Trent.

Eric Wright Facilities Management (EWFM), part of the Eric Wright Group, has commenced a 25-year contract to service three retirement villages in Stoke-on-Trent.


The contract was awarded via a partnership agreement with Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Sapphire, a consortium of construction, housing, facilities management, property development and architect professionals responsible for building, financing and operating the complexes via the 25-year Private Finance Initiative (PFI).


Located at three sites across the city, the schemes comprise 390 one and two-bedroom apartments and include a range of communal facilities including lounges, hobby and craft rooms, village halls, libraries, beauty salons, launderettes and fitness suites.


‘Willow Barns’ in Blurton, ‘Oak Priory’ in Abbey Hulton and ‘Westcliffe’ in Chell (which is being built by Seddon Construction and is due to complete mid-2017) have a GIFA (Ground Internal Floor Area) of 43,454 m² for which EWFM will provide hard and soft FM services. These include planned and reactive maintenance, M&E maintenance, lifecycle management, window cleaning, grounds maintenance and pest control. 


Connal O’Brien, managing director at Eric Wright FM, said: “There is huge demand for retirement housing in Stoke-on-Trent and, working together with sister company Eric Wright Construction and the rest of the consortium, these quality developments have been delivered. Now it’s over to us to maintain the facilities and keep them in the best possible condition over the next 25 years.


“As a Preston-headquartered company with experience in servicing residential schemes, we have mobilised a team from head office that will work together with locally-employed staff to deliver the requirements of the contract. In addition, we have modified our processes and procedures in order to quickly and effectively serve the needs of the residents, who will have differing levels of care requirements.


“We’re really pleased to have won this work and look forward to seeing the contract through.”


With 79 per cent of properties taken or reserved, the developments are expected to be fully occupied before the end of 2017.


Sarah Houghton-Grimshaw, Older People’s Services Manager at YHG, said: “Oak Priory has been received very well by the local community and has become a hub for the area, with so many fantastic facilities on offer to both residents, their families and the local community of Abbey Hulton to enjoy. The employment opportunities that have been provided by the partners on site have been embraced by the local workforce and have made a significant positive impact on many families.”


Morton Corbitt, director from Kajima, said: “The partners of Sapphire Extra Care Limited, Kajima Partnerships Ltd, Your Housing Group and Eric Wright PLC, are proud to have worked with the City Council to successfully deliver the Oak Priory Retirement Living Facility. Oak Priory contains 175 apartments, and is the second of the three facilities to be finished though a PFI Retirement Living Project.”


Councillor Ann James, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s cabinet member for health and social care, said: “The opening of Willow Barns and Oak Priory – and the future provision of facilities at Westcliffe – means we are continuing to provide independent living in a supportive environment so that people can maintain, or regain, their independence.


“It’s wonderful that two of the developments are now open, and I’m sure the residents will be very happy in their new homes. I look forward to seeing the completion of Westcliffe next year.”


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