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Published 21st Oct 2011

the Gateway plan

Plans to open a state-of-the-art facility to support and rehabilitate people with neurological conditions are due to be revealed at a series of consultation sessions at Middlesbrough College.

Whickham Villa LLP, a North East based company which specialises in providing neuro rehabilitation and support services for people with long term conditions, hopes to open a new complex, ‘The Gateway’, at Middlehaven in Middlesbrough in partnership with Erimus Housing.

The plans propose a facility that will be the only of its kind in the UK that consists of a residential ‘step forward’ rehabilitation facility, a health and wellbeing centre for the whole community and a range of transitional and supported living options. If given the green light, the project could see the creation of more than 100 jobs and around £10m of investment.

The facility would help people in their recovery from serious brain injury, spinal injury and other neurological conditions. The initiative has been developed to support the NHS in terms of reducing long term costs at nearby hospitals through quicker discharge while also improving the care outcomes for the client.

This initial proposal also includes plans to provide a range of independent community therapy services, vocational, advice and support services from social enterprise, charitable, statutory and education partners for use by residents and non residents.

‘The Gateway’ is being supported by Erimus Housing, which would provide the transitional and supported living element of the scheme, as well as Tees Valley Unlimited, Middlesbrough Council, the Homes and Communities Agency and One NorthEast.

Boda Gallon, chief executive of Whickham Villa, said: “Our concept is that this centre will create first class facilities and services to support people with brain injuries, neurological conditions and other complex needs to help rehabilitate them so they can live with independence and a good quality of life. The Gateway is a unique and exciting collaborative service with Erimus Housing and there is simply nothing like it in the country.”

“With an established track record of around 25 years at our facility in Gateshead, we are passionate about providing an outstanding service and positive impacts to our clients and their families.”

Chris Smith, managing director of Erimus Housing, added: “We are thrilled by the possibility of working alongside Whickham Villa on this exciting and innovative project, which could bring vital new facilities to the area.

“We would urge as many people as possible to come along to view the plans for this project, which brings a range of extra benefits, including boosting the local economy and creating much needed jobs for local people.”

The plan is for Whickham Villa’s new facilities to be located adjacent to Middlesbrough College at Middlehaven – a site which is also home to Temenos, the £2.7m sculpture by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond, Terrace Hill’s Hudson Quay office development, and the soon to be complete Community in a Cube, the first residential phase of the £200m RiversideOne scheme – the UK’s largest zero carbon scheme.

Stephen Catchpole, managing director at Tees Valley Unlimited, said: “From the outset we wanted Middlehaven to be a thriving mixed use development and these latest plans by Whickham Villa, alongside the residential, office and leisure facilities already on site, are proof we have achieved that.

“If given the go ahead, the new facility would also create much needed jobs and bring investment into the area at a time when headlines are dominated by job losses and funding cuts.”

Have your say

Now local residents, potential service users, organisations and the wider community are being asked to come along and have a say on the proposed plans and ask any questions about the potential services that could be on offer.

They will be on display at Middlesbrough College for two weeks from 2nd to 14th November. Officers involved in the scheme design and operation will be on hand to answer any questions from 9.30am-12.30pm on Friday 4th November and from 12.30-4.30pm on Friday 11th November.

Useful links

Whickham Villa LLP

Erimus Housing

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