The Ageing Well Village in Backworth is an ambitious care and support scheme for later living. A collaboration between Northumberland Estates, the Local Authority, specialist healthcare providers, and third sector organisations, the scheme creates a bespoke environment where people can live well into older age with a variety of accommodation types and on-site support.
Initiated through the North Tyneside Ageing Well Board, the scheme was shaped by specialist stakeholders to offer a comprehensive range of residential options, and integrated health and care services in one place. The team considered what influences health and happiness in older age, seeking to address not just health and care needs but also non-medical factors such as loneliness and environment. The accommodation caters to different lifestyle demands with extra care, accessible apartments, bungalows and ‘right sizer’ houses. The Apartment block and Extra Care facility are designed to encourage interaction and incidental meetings, fostering a strong community.
Enhancing step up and down care models, the site includes a 40-bed intermediate care facility with rehabilitation and general medicine facilities, staffed by health and social care professionals. At the heart of the site a Wellbeing Hub provides a vibrant community facility with therapy rooms, hydrotherapy pool, and multi-functional spaces for classes, talks and hobby groups. The site also includes a 96-place nursery where students will be actively encouraged to use the communal facilities and outdoor spaces, creating intergenerational contact.
P+HS were appointed as Lead Designer, Architect and Urban Designer for the scheme. Following a rigorous bidding process Age UK, Clinical Care Groups and Northumberland Estates came together to select P+HS to lead on the development of this cutting-edge facility for older persons living. From the initial appointment the team has worked closely with the various stakeholder groups to develop an innovative design which captures the aspirations, requirements and needs of all.
The 11.86-acre development has been heralded as the future of later life living, offering high-quality residential housing with integrated health, care and frailty services all in one place – breaking the mould of conventional ‘standalone’ units and extending beyond traditional housing models.
Here was an opportunity to create a place for older people to thrive and live well into later life, connected to a vibrant community and with the right options on hand to meet their varied needs. Careful consideration of what factors influence health and happiness in later life and what amenities could be incorporated within the neighbourhood to support, rather than diminish, mental and physical well-being were central to the concept of the entire site.
The design team considered the proposed user groups at length and how their activities and journeys through the site might contribute to a strong and integrated community ethos.
"Social interaction works best when it is not programmed, it is the sporadic nature of our daily interactions which can bring joy"
Backworth has attracted much interest for its holistic approach to how we approach the housing needs of an ageing population. Below is a link to an article which appeared in the property, business and lifestyle magazine, Portfolio North.
Extra Care Facility
Older Person's Apartments
Intermediate Care & Rehabilitation
Residential Dwellings Bungalows & Houses