Sapphire has been named as the preferred bidder to build extra care home apartments in Stoke-on-Trent.

The consortium of construction, housing, facilities management, property development and architecture professionals was chosen by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and will build the apartments over the next three years. The facilities will be spread over three different sites across the city and will provide care for people over the age of 55. These spacious apartments will include a community setting as well as good transport links to and from the site.

Councillors announced that the sites will be situated at Abbey Hulton, Blurton and Chell and will be fully occupied by 2017. The authority is committed to providing a setting where people can continue to live independently and have the same privacy they would in a normal. However, there are a number of services and facilities that will be on hand should they require them.

Each site will be split into one-bed and two-bed self-contained apartments along with communal lounges, restaurants facilities, landscaped gardens, a laundrette, gyms, hair and beauty salons as well as a wide range of social and activity events. The homes are somewhere that friends and family will be able to visit on a regular basis and provide a comfortable environment for people living there.

Richard Turpin, from the Eric Wright Group, spoke on behalf of the Sapphire consortium: "We are delighted to have secured this prestigious contract.

"The consortium that we put together for this project has worked in partnership to develop a compelling bid and we are looking forward to making our plans for the villages a reality for the people of Stoke.”

Sapphire was selected to build the care homes following a Private Finance Initiative procurement process in November 2011. It was among four bidders shortlisted in March 2012 and is made up of Eric Wright Group, Your Housing Group, Kajima Partnerships Limited and Seddon Construction.

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