Nottingham City Homes’ ambitious Grander Designs project, improving independent living schemes across the city, is marking the completion of its 21st project.
The programme, delivered in partnership with lead contractor Keepmoat, started back in 2013 and aims to modernise the schemes and enhance the lives of residents.
The 21 schemes, which cater for older people, have all benefited from extensive redesigns and makeovers of the internal and external communal areas.
The programme has also seen some added benefits, with more residents taking part in social activities and developing a healthy calendar of activities in the newly refreshed communal rooms and garden spaces.
The latest scheme to receive a makeover is Ogdon Court in St Anns. The building had become tired and was in need of a revamp.
It now has a new light and spacious conservatory lounge overlooking a re-landscaped, dementia-friendly garden complete with wildlife and sensory areas.
Work has also taken place on the front entrance and foyer area, with a brand new smaller lounge and large mobility scooter store being created from the original communal lounge space.
Nottingham City Homes Project Manager, Alison Brandon, said: “At the heart of all the Grander Designs projects is our consultation with the tenants. We find out how they want their scheme to look, and what they want us to change. We keep this process going throughout the project so we can keep them informed about the works and changes being undertaken.
“We encourage residents to input into the look and feel of communal areas, and get involved with choosing colour schemes, flooring and soft furnishings.
“We also carry out work to make schemes more dementia-friendly, with colour-coded corridors, memory boards outside flat or bedroom doors, and colour contrasts to help people distinguish between walls and hand rails.”
Resident Danny Stewart said: “I have been saying to people that Ogdon Court is as good as a five star hotel now, and my daughter said the same when she visited. Everyone is very happy with it and it has all come together beautifully. I for one will be using the communal facilities as often as I can!”
The Grander Designs team also works in partnership with Nottingham City Homes’ Decent Neighbourhoods and Greener Designs programmes to boost kerb appeal and the outside appearance of the building with planting, landscaping and seating.
Every scheme has seen interest in the flats increase within weeks of completion, with previously hard to let flats being let quickly. At Townsend Court in Top Valley, 11 homes in the 25-flat scheme were empty at the start of the works; once Grander Designs was completed, all 11 were very quickly let.
Councillor Jane Urquhart, Nottingham City Council's portfolio holder for planning and housing, said: “Independent living schemes provide a safe and supportive environment for older people to live. The Grander Designs programme is working with residents to improve their day to day lives and offer more ways for them to interact with their neighbours. The feedback from the residents is testament to the work that’s been delivered.”