Plans for an innovative new retirement village at the old Thornhill College site at Culmore have just been published.
The new development - known as ‘The West Shore at Thornhill’ - includes a 62 bed care home, 68 retirement units, a medical centre, multi use games area (tennis courts, putting green, bowling green) and allotments.
It also comprises a “street like environment” which aims to attract residents to a “community hub” - a building that encompasses a reception area, residents’ lounge, library, media hub and cafe.
The ethos of the development is, says the concept designers, “to ensure our residents enjoy the opportunity to continue living the life they love in a safe, secure and supportive environment.”
It’s understood that the development will cost an estimated £23.4 million to build and that, overall, its ongoing operation could create or sustain 111 jobs, £1.9 million of wages and £3.1 million of GVA per year.
Similar retirement community concepts have long been an option in the USA and many parts of central Europe and Scandinavia but have only relatively recently become available in the UK and certain locations in Ireland.
Local Sinn Fein councillor Sandra Duffy has welcomed the plans for the riverside site.
“It’s good to see that these plans have now been formally lodged,” she said. “At present, the Thornhill site is a terrible eyesore situated on a key gateway into our city.”
The proposals for a modern retirement village, she says, could help transform the entire area.
“They could help regenerate the greater Culmore area,” she says.