Work is starting on the construction of a £6 million new care home in Rowley Regis as part of an agreement between Sandwell Community Caring Trust and Sandwell Council. The work is part of a special link-up between Sandwell Community Caring Trust (SCCT) and the council to provide modern facilities for older people. The new care home is being built on the site of Knowle House. When it is completed, the staff and residents from Grafton Lodge in Grafton Road, Oldbury, will transfer to the building.

Residents from Fountain Court in Millpool Way in Bearwood will also be moved into the new up-to-date facilities at the Rowley Regis site. A special ground-breaking ceremony was held at the site at Harvest Road today (Friday 23 December) to mark the start of work on the scheme, which will provide 84 places.   Councillor Ann Shackleton, the council's cabinet member for adult social care, said: "The new building will provide much-improved facilities for the older members of the community in this part of the borough. We look forward to when it is open and our older people can get the best up-to-date care under this exciting new scheme."

Four years ago, the council entered into a contract with Sandwell Community Caring Trust to take over the operation of existing care homes. This contract involved the transfer of Greenhaven, Glebefields and Grafton Lodge to SCCT, under an agreement for 80 residential care beds for a period of 30 years. As part of the agreement, SCCT agreed to provide two new buildings to accommodate the existing and future residents. 

SCCT bought Hall Green, a new care home in Stone Cross, as an alternative to building a scheme from scratch and moved the residents from Greenhaven and Glebefields into this unit. 

Now, the new Rowley Regis development will cater for people from Grafton Lodge and Fountain Court. 

Frank Betteridge, chairman of Sandwell Community Caring Trust, said: "This is an extremely positive step forward in developing residential care facilities in Sandwell for older people and older people with dementia. 

"It will build upon the excellent care already offered at Grafton Lodge and Fountain Court and provide the residents and their families and friends with long-term certainty for their future care.

"The partnership between SCCT and Sandwell Council will give the residents of Grafton Lodge and Fountain Court – and their relatives – an opportunity to be actively involved in the development."