A NEW state-of-the-art children's home for young people with disabilities is to be built in Tameside after a successful funding bid.
Tameside Council's application for £1.6million of funding from the Department for Education's Children's Home Capital Programme has been approved, which the Council will match fund.
The authority's Executive Cabinet has approved the proposals. The Council was prepared to use further capital funding if needed to help give the young residents the best start in life.
The nine-bed, Ofsted registered property will replace an existing children's home in Dukinfield that is no longer sustainable, while also creating three extra placements.
It will offer long-term care, transition accommodation for preparation for adulthood, short-term care and step down support. The aim is to create an outstanding children with disabilities hub that operates on nationally recognised best practice principles.
A former school building site on vacant, council-owned land in Hyde has been identified as the best option with sufficient space available for the new building, an external play area and car parking. A playing field that was not publically accessible will be replaced by a green space elsewhere. The site is close to schools that the children with disabilities currently access giving the benefit of short journey times.
The existing six-bed home caters for short overnight respite breaks and long-term cared for placements for children with disabilities.
The proposal will satisfy an Ofsted recommendation for a plan to reallocate the service to more suitable premises.
The additional beds created in the new property could also be used for children in more expensive external residential placements leading to significant cost savings. Compared to utilising the external market the new home is estimated to save £720,400 per year.
The proposed building will also have a kitchen and dining rooms for both residential and respite care, staff accommodation, bathrooms, reception and office space, therapy and sensory rooms and utility rooms.
Refurbishing the existing home is not considered value for money and it will be handed back to owner Jigsaw Housing.
Tameside Council's Deputy Executive Leader Councillor Bill Fairfoull, who has responsibility for Children and Families, said: "This proposal will deliver an outstanding children with disabilities residential provision. Our vision is for this to be the first phase of a centre of excellence for children with a disability, providing access to a flexible residential offer and wrap around therapeutic support services. The new build option will also be more cost-effective in the long-term while providing more suitable accommodation.
"The new home will put at its heart the best outcomes for children with disabilities in childhood and as they prepare for adulthood. This is a high priority for the Council and our Corporate Parenting responsibilities for those cared for children are of paramount importance.
"We're resolute that our children in need have the best start in life, their family network is resilient and preparation for adulthood is timely and effective. The ability to access a good residential short break facility close to home is also a priority for our parents and carers."