Liverpool's communal care home develops its site to create a retirement village for over-55s

Stapely is adding 70 apartments and facilities including a kosher restaurant and gym


An ambitious development that will transform Liverpool’s Stapely nursing and residential home site into a retirement village is close to completion of its first phase.

The plan is for the home to be complemented by 70 retirement apartments available for purchase or rent to the over-55s. Those moving in will eventually be able to enjoy communal facilities such as a gym and hairdressing salon. More immediate amenities will include a cinema and a soon-to-open 25-seat kosher restaurant, which Stapely leaders hope will be used by residents, family and friends.

Although the new properties will be available to all, a significant take-up from the Jewish community is anticipated for the first phase of 17 apartments at Fernlea House, a grand Edwardian villa that was once home to the Crawford’s biscuits family. The majority of the 60 residents in the care home are Jewish.

Prices will range from £130,000 to £250,000, which Stapely PR manager Peter Elson suggests “are very good for south Liverpool. It’s a very nice part of the city and it’s very rare that new housing comes on stream.”

He said that for many, the pandemic had emphasised the importance of social contact. “They were rattling around in big houses in Liverpool feeling very lonely.” Those moving into Fernlea will have the best of both worlds — the privacy of a modern apartment but a vibrant social scene once they leave their front door.

“All your needs as you move through life will be catered for. But initially, come in and enjoy the facilities.”

Elson explained that should a purchaser’s health worsen, they could receive medical support in their apartment. If it further deteriorated, they might transfer to the care home.

The hope is that the remaining phases of the project will be completed in around four years, funded significantly by sale and rental income from the initial housing.

Stapely’s plans have won the endorsement of Liverpool-born writer, broadcaster and former MP Edwina Currie, whose mother was a staunch Stapely backer.

After touring the site with Stapely trustee Philip Ettinger, Currie recalled: “My late mother Pese Cohen was a longstanding supporter of Stapely Care and a regular visitor to see friends and relatives there.

“So seeing Stapely Care still thriving and growing means a lot to me.”

The development impressed her both as “an economist and a pensioner. I worry too few people think about getting older; where to live, arranging finances, having help at hand when needed.

“We already have more citizens over 85 than youngsters under 16 but it’s taking too long for planners and families to catch up.”

Ettinger welcomed Currie’s support. “Her great interest in what we are doing is extremely gratifying, as was her wonderful way when meeting our residents.”

Like many regional Jewish communities, Liverpool has had to deal with numerical decline while maintaining an array of facilities supporting residents from cradle to grave, notably the impressive King David schools campus.

“We might not be huge in numbers but we have played an important part in the city’s history,” Elson observed. “And this is a sign that we are not done yet.”

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