The latest phase of a multi-million pound investment by independent care provider Parklands Group has been given the green light. Plans for a £6.5 million care hub for older people in Inverness, one of three new Highland care homes planned or already under construction, have been approved by the Highland Council.
The largest single investment by Parklands, the Inverness facility will be built in two phases, the first consisting of a two-storey care home featuring 48 bedrooms, a café, hairdresser and eight day rooms. The second phase will offer 16 assisted living suites, with three day rooms, and will be linked to the care wing on both ground and first floor levels. The site will include landscaped gardens, 42 parking spaces and sheltered cycle racks.
The development will occupy a prominent gap site next to Milton of Leys Primary School. Work on phase one is expected to begin next spring.
Parklands currently operates seven care homes in Moray and the Highlands but has recently embarked on a significant programme of expansion.
Last year, the company expanded its existing care homes in Muir of Ord and Tain at a cost of £1 million, adding a further six bedrooms in each home. Meanwhile, construction of its latest £4.5 million care home in Grantown is nearing completion and work is expected to start soon on a £4 million facility in Fortrose.
By 2020, the company will have invested £16 million over three years on new and extended care homes, creating around new 200 jobs and making it one of the largest private sector employers in the north. The company currently has a workforce of around 500.
Ron Taylor, managing director of Parklands, said: “We are delighted that our plans to build and operate a new care hub for Inverness have been approved. This will be our largest ever investment and arguably one of our most innovative, combining the traditional care model with assisted living support. It is a fantastic site overlooking the Moray Firth and in the heart of the fast growing Milton of Leys area. It will be a facility for the entire community and will be closely integrated with local health facilities, schools and community groups.
“Inverness will be our flagship development, creating 100 new jobs, but we are committed to continuing to invest in smaller towns and communities across the Highlands. Our eighth care home is nearing completion in Grantown and work will begin soon on our ninth in Fortrose. Together, these investments will create a further 100 jobs for the region. By 2020, Parklands will be one of the largest private sector employers in the north, a testament to the quality of our care and our workforce.”
Inverness and Nairn MSP Fergus Ewing said: “I welcome this further investment in the Highlands by Parklands. This will provide care home facilities for many at a local level which will enable people to stay near their families.”
Ian McNamara, Chair of Highland Senior Citizens Network, added: “The Highland Senior Citizens Network welcomes this imaginative development at a time that is particularly challenging for independent providers of residential care. The number of older people who will need this level of care, in spite of the best efforts to support them in their own homes, is going to increase steadily over the coming years.”