Sapphire wins potteries villages project


Sapphire wins potteries villages project

An Eric Wright Group led consortium has been named preferred bidder by Stoke-on-Trent City Council for a £100 million privately financed retirement villages scheme.


The 25 year Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project is the biggest ever of its type in the potteries city, involving the creation of 390 extra care apartments in three retirement villages and maintaining them in partnership with the council. Others in the consortium called Sapphire are Kajima Partnerships, Seddon Construction and Your Housing Group, bringing together skills in housing, construction, facilities management, property development and architecture.


Procurement started in November 2011 with Sapphire and three others shortlisted in March 2012. Construction is to start in Spring with completion and full occupation of the apartments in 2017.


Sapphire has agreed to provide employment opportunities for local people on the construction phase of the project.


Stoke councillor Ruth Rosenau, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transportation, said: "This scheme will deliver new, high quality accommodation that is in demand in the city.


"We are pleased to announce Sapphire as the preferred bidder and the consortium has consistently demonstrated its ability to deliver in what has been a necessarily rigorous procurement process.


"We want to ensure city residents have the opportunity to live in the best quality accommodation, and we look forward to Sapphire delivering this scheme. It is an exciting development and the largest scheme of its kind to ever be developed in the city.


Eric Wright Group's Richard Turpin, said: "We are delighted to have secured this prestigious contract. The consortium that we put together for this project has worked in partnership to develop a compelling bid and we are looking forward to making our plans for the villages a reality for the people of Stoke."


Photo: Eric Wright Group UK