The first keys to a brand-new block of apartments for people with learning disabilities have been handed over at a special ceremony in Lincoln.
A £2.44 million development by Waterloo Housing Group has seen the old Sampson House building on Skellingthorpe Road demolished to make way for 20 modern houses and flats to be used by Linkage Community Trust residents.
The trust is a registered charity which provides a care, specialist further education and employment services for people with learning disabilities.
The new homes consist of 12 one-bed apartments for Linkage residents in the new Sampson House, plus six two-bed houses and two three-bed houses for shared ownership.
Lincoln-born Philip Williams, who will move into the new flats having previously lived in Linkage accommodation in Skegness, was on hand to accept the keys to the new apartments.
The 25-year-old said: “I’m very honoured to be one of the new residents to check out this place at Sampson House and I’m excited to be living in one of the upstairs flats away from the road.
“It’s a big day for us all and it’s great to see all the hard work has paid off – the new flats are superb.”
The development has received funding of £100,000 from the City of Lincoln Council, together with investment support of £584,000 from the government’s Homes and Communities Agency.
Construction company, Lindum Homes have built the new apartments, which will be completed this month.
Sue Taylor, from Linkage Care Services said: “I can see terrific changes here and it’s a brilliant opportunity for our young people to move forward in the community, getting more independence and to see what they can achieve is unbelievable.
“Live we’ve seen with Philip who’s taken over the keys, he can’t wait to move in here and he’s already been picking out his own flat which is wonderful to see.”
The old Sampson House building, which was most recently used for accommodation by Linkage, was named after the late Dave Sampson, one of the co-founders of Linkage, which marks its 40th anniversary next year.
Linkage chief executive Ges Roulstone said: “It’s been a massive transformation from the old house that was really rather tired, costing a lot in repairs and not providing the kind of care we would have liked.
“Demolishing the old house and building these fantastic new flats represents a major improvement in the standard of care that we’re able to provide for people with learning disabilities.
“The people moving in to the flats have benefited from the high level of care that Lincolnshire has provided for many years and it represents an opportunity for them to have something more independent in the heart of the community but with staff still there for the support they’ll continue to need.”