Dame Margaret Beckett MP revisits refurbished retirement living scheme 31 years after original opening

Derby South MP Dame Margaret Beckett took a trip down memory lane by returning to Highgates, a retirement living scheme which she initially opened 31 years ago.

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The visit marked the refurbishment of the scheme, which saw residents enjoy a special lunch with guests and stakeholders. Stonewater’s transformation of Highgates, a 38-apartment residency in Derby city centre, is part of an ongoing £9m upgrade to its retirement living schemes across the country.

The refurbishment of Highgates included creating an open plan kitchen and lounge, with enhanced space and bespoke furniture. All communal areas in the retirement living scheme have been decorated with a high-quality finish, new floors and upgraded lighting. The heating system in communal corridors has been replaced and a new emergency call system installed.

Margaret Beckett said, “When this scheme opened in 1987, it allowed people to access the city centre and the local amenities, something that is vital for these residents. It’s great to come back and commemorate the refurbishment and I hope that the scheme continues to prosper in the future.”

Anne Anderson, a resident at Highgates, said, “I feel safe at Highgates, and now the scheme is the best it’s ever been. It’s so close to the centre, which makes it easy for us to get out and be part of the local community.”

Sue Shirt, Stonewater’s Executive Director of Housing, said, “It was wonderful to spend the morning with residents at Highgates, celebrating a refurbishment that truly fulfils Stonewater’s long-term vision of creating environments our residents are proud of.

“Housing and services for older adults are a highly important part of Stonewater’s business, and since 2016, we’ve been investing in living environments that not only meet, but exceed, the needs and aspirations of our retirement living customers.”