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Retirement living scheme underway at former college site

Land previously belonging to Banbury and Bicester College is being transformed into a new multi-million pound retirement living complex.

Bromford has begun construction at its new development after vacant college buildings were demolished to make way for 78 retirement living homes. To mark the start of the £12m project, local students, college and council representatives joined Bromford colleagues at a special sod-cutting ceremony on Friday 25 November.

The college, which is part of Activate Learning, made the land available after relocating its media and motor vehicle facilities to a new, £6m centre, on the opposite side of Broughton Road three years ago.

Park Gardens will benefit from a café bistro and lounge, activity studio, gym, hair and beauty salon, landscaped gardens and parking. It will feature both one and two bedroom apartments for independent living and there will be a range of affordable tenure options. Residents will also have the option of specialist support and care tailored to their needs.

Following the demolition of the existing buildings, Bromford’s in-house construction team has now begun laying the site foundations before the central steel structure can be created. A show home is due to open towards the end of 2017 and as progress on the development moves forward, the range of on-site facilities will create a number of job opportunities for local businesses.

Penny Downing, Bromford’s sales and marketing director, said: “Our retirement living homes are increasingly popular as they offer residents the opportunity to live in a lively and vibrant community where they can retain their independence; safe in the knowledge that support is available if they need it. We will welcome the local community, friends and family to become part of this next chapter in Bath Road’s history as we help our customers living in Park Gardens to enjoy their later years.

“We hope to welcome our first residents by the end of 2018 and it will be really exciting to see Park Gardens rising from the ground and beginning to take shape.”

Andy Marshall, Director for Lifeskills at Activate Learning, said: “Having invested in developing new facilities for our students in Banbury, we are pleased to be able to make this land available to provide much-needed affordable housing. We look forward to seeing the new facilities taking shape  and exploring opportunities for our students to work with staff and residents at Park Gardens to provide services as they prepare for their careers.”