Care investment will create North East 90 new jobs

A NEW carehome business is set to roll out a string of short-break holiday developments for people with disabilities and plans to create around 90 jobs at developments in Whitley Bay, Gateshead and Northumberland.

Northridge Care Ltd was set up three months ago as a subsidiary of Newcastle-based Danieli Holdings and has secured bank funding to spearhead its plans, which have already seen it acquire former care home Burnside Lodge in Whitley Bay as part of a £1.25m investment.

Building work has already started at the site, which has been derelict for more than seven years, and will be used by those with mental and physical disabilities as a holiday retreat, with a team of carers on hand.

The development, which is expected to be completed in August next year will include 20 large bedrooms, all with en suite bathrooms, and will offer short breaks for adults under the age of 65 who need around-the-clock care. Danieli Holdings was set up two years ago and also includes Newcastle-based Careline Homecare, a 12-year-old homecare business.

The group, which has a turnover of around £15m, also includes security firm Phoenix Security, as well as business training provider Executive Training Solutions.

Neill Winch, managing director of Northridge Care, said: “With the current regeneration of Whitley Bay, the transformation of the site will fit in superbly with the area. Locals are breathing a sigh of relief that the abandoned site is being transformed into a place which will provide an important service to its users and their families.

“The reason it has stood empty for so long is that all previous planning applications have related to night clubs or casinos and therefore have been refused. This provision gives something back to the people of the area and will improve the look of the streetscape massively.”

The firm has already earmarked a site in Gateshead for its second holiday development and also plans to open one in Northumberland, with all three expected to create around 100 care jobs. Mr Winch said that those with disabilities had suffered from a lack of short-break care facilities and that there was the opportunity to add further Northridge sites in the North East over the coming years.

He said: “Although Northridge Care is a new company, our sister company Careline Homecare has been a dominant care provider in the North East for 12 years.

“It has built up an immaculate reputation with public sector and private contractors across the region and so this venture can be built on a wealth of experience.

Jackie Welsh, head of continuing care and funded nursing care for North Tyneside PCT, said: “The provision of specialist care, such as the short break services which will be offered in Whitley Bay, are invaluable for our clients.”