New £2 Million respite centre for Blackpool


Posted on Wednesday 20th July 2022

picture of the supported living accommodation

A new £2 Million respite and short breaks service has officially opened at Mereside.

Coopers @ Ambleside supports adults with a learning disability and/or who may have support needs in regards to Autism.

The building previously known as Colton House, on Ambleside Road at Mereside in Blackpool, was previously operating as three flats, providing supported living accommodation for people with learning disabilities.

It has now been transformed into a new purpose built two-storey modern facility with six bedrooms, state-of-the-art assisted technologies, a dining/kitchen, lounge, duty office, laundry, sensory and garden rooms, and staff facilities. NHS England has worked with the Council, Care Providers and the CCG, along with service users and families to add a range of sensory adaptations to the new scheme design to help better meet the needs of people with autism.

This development is an extension of the already popular and well used Coopers @ Devonshire Respite and Short Breaks Service.

Feedback from parents/carers highlighted that they often experienced difficulties in securing essential respite from their caring responsibilities.

Thanks to a significant investment of £1.6 Million from NHS England and additional support from the Council the new development got the go-ahead with work starting in 2019.

The new service was designed by parents, carers and services users who were delighted to work with architects to ensure the service could meet the needs of a variety of individuals but also trying to get a balance of achieving a ‘home from home’ feel; this was important to the individuals who would be using the services and their parents/carers.

The environment allows better support for families and people with complex needs to help avert crisis in the home and to reduce hospital admissions. Offering this new service will enable better review and assessment, and improve interventions to help people and their families live more productive lives.

Cllr Jo Farrell, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said:

“I am absolutely delighted to see Coopers @ Ambleside open and people already reaping the benefits of a new purpose built facility for respite and short breaks.

“It is has taken longer than planned for it to open due to the pandemic but it has been worth the wait.

“As soon as you walk in you feel a lovely, homely atmosphere. It is so important for parents and carers to have a much-needed break but they need to feel happy where their loved ones are staying. We are already receiving wonderful feedback.”

The first service users have already checked in for short break and have given it the seal of approval.

Andy said: “I love being here, the staff are amazing and I didn’t want to leave. I can’t wait to come back.”

Andy’s mum Sandra said: “The place is a lifesaver. Knowing Andy is enjoying himself means I can then relax on my break. In the past I have been worried and concerned when I have gone away.”

Conlon Construction was by appointed by Blackpool Council to carry out the development and worked closely with them to create opportunities for young people in the local area.

Michael Conlon, chairman at Conlon Construction, said:

“The completion of Colton House marks another major milestone in our ongoing relationship with Blackpool Council, having worked on numerous high-profile schemes in the town, whilst currently on-site with several others.

“This purpose-built facility will support the provision of high quality care for those with complex needs and we worked hand-in-hand with all those involved to create a centre that supports current and future care priorities, whilst driving significant added value locally and forging a lasting legacy that stretches beyond the build. In addition to appointing a local supply chain, we provided numerous work experience opportunities for young people within FY1 to FY4 postcodes, to help build local construction talent pipelines and support the next generation for years to come.”

Dan Thorpe, associate director and architect at Cassidy + Ashton, the lead architect for the project, said:

“It has been a pleasure to work on this project with the service users and their families, staff team and Blackpool Council.

 “The scheme utilises a more open plan environment, reducing the need for corridors and providing bright, open and welcoming living areas.

 “The design aims to facilitate the fantastic level of care that the staff team provide, and its success is a result of the stakeholder workshops that were held at the start of the scheme. Seeing the building now in operation, following great work by Conlon Construction, we are immensely proud to have had the opportunity to play our part in the project.”


Posted on Wednesday 20th July 2022

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