13 October 2009,

North Staffs LIFT - Mill Rise crowned the ‘UK’s most outstanding Extra Care scheme in 2009'

Aspire Housing is celebrating after its innovative retirement village in Staffordshire scooped two national awards at the UK Over 50's Housing Awards.

Mill Rise, in Newcastle-under-Lyme, has been crowned the 'UK's most outstanding Extra Care scheme in 2009'.

Scheme Manager Diana Wilson was also awarded the prize for 'Extra Care General Manager of the Year 2009', at the prestigious ceremony in London.

Mill Rise, which opened this summer, is one of the first schemes outside London to combine extra care housing for the over 55s with a state-of-the-art primary care centre.

It comprises 60 one- and two-bedroom extra care apartments for rent and shared ownership and incorporates three GP practices, a pharmacy, restaurant, café, bar, and hair salon, in a secure village environment.

Sinead Butters, Chief Executive of the Aspire Group said: "I am delighted that Aspire's first extra care scheme has received such high profile national recognition.

"Mill Rise was a complex, challenging development and I would like to thank everyone who had a part to play in delivering this fantastic scheme, and congratulate the brilliant team led by Diana Wilson, who provide a first class service to our residents every single day."

The annual awards, created by the UK Over 50's Housing Weekly News, aim to give recognition to organisations which advance the profitability of the sector, and enhance the customer experience through innovation.

A type of specialist supported housing, 'extra care' homes are self-contained, with design features and services that enable older people to enjoy active and independent lifestyles.

The £15million scheme on the site of a former factory, was developed by Aspire Housing, North Staffordshire Primary Care Trust and Prima 200 North Staffordshire, the local LIFT (Local Improvement Finance Trust).

Mill Rise is the first new build project in the area and is expected to serve as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of the Knutton, Mile House and Cross Heath area, creating local employment opportunities and providing valuable health services to the surrounding community.

For further details please contact Prima 200 LIFTCo or the Mill Rise website.