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South Shields retirement living development receives revamp in time for Christmas


Dec 20, 2023

Residents and staff of Frank Bushell House in South Shields have celebrated the completion of a refurbishment programme within the retirement living development ahead of the festive season.

Registered social housing provider, Riverside, appointed Esh Construction to deliver the £1 million scheme earlier this year as part of a wider programme of investment into retirement living housing.

Frank Bushell House comprises 29 self-contained flats with individual kitchens, lounges and bathrooms, as well as communal areas. New and upgraded bathrooms have been installed in 26 flats along with full redecoration and new flooring throughout.

Colin Ford, operations director at Esh Construction, said: “Delivering works of this nature in an occupied development can be intrusive and unsettling for residents, therefore we would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding throughout our time at Frank Bushell House.

“This project marked the first refurbishment scheme we have undertaken in partnership with Riverside for many years, and we are pleased to be working collaboratively to improve and future-proof social housing developments once again.”

Extensive improvements have been made to communal areas with remodelling works paving the way for a new guest bedroom, quiet room and hair salon, while upgrades have been made to the existing communal lounge and laundry. The communal garden has also received a revamp, with new fencing, boundary wall and planting.

A disused warden’s house has been converted into an additional flat with the extra space becoming a communal kitchen and scooter store.

Externally, new entrance doors with an improved security system have been installed, along with the upgrade of security lights. The infrastructure for electrical vehicle charging facilities has also been installed within the existing car park.

A formal celebration event with residents took place on completion of the works with representatives from Esh Construction, Riverside and Storm Tempest in attendance. Frank Bushell House resident, Mary Delaney said: “They have done a grand job, the scheme is very inviting and my friends and family love the new improvements!”

Jayne Tweedy, retirement living team leader at Riverside, explained: “The scheme has been completely transformed – it is literally like a brand-new building. The finishes and furnishings are stunning and the colours are so calming and relaxing – our customers love it and are taking a real sense of pride in their new surroundings.

“The little additional features such as our new scooter store and the refreshed parking area just top it off. The scheme is based in such a central location too – it’s a real hidden gem.”

With the support of IT firm, TIEVA, Esh Construction donated six tablets to residents to promote digital inclusion and provided tailored training to familiarise residents with the new technology. The tablets are available in the community room, allowing residents to access the internet, take photographs, message or call family and friends.

As an additional thank you to residents for their patience, Esh arranged a seaside trip to provide a day of respite from the ongoing construction works and used volunteering hours to assist residents with general errands and transporting shopping when the communal lift was out of service.