A new multi-million housing development in Jarrow has been officially opened.
Coun Alan Smith and local MP Stephen Hepburn cut the ribbon to unveil a plaque to mark the formal opening of Joseph Collin House, on the site of the former Tunnel ex-servicemen’s club in North Street, Jarrow.
Construction of the 47-home development was completed in February and now almost all of the one and two-bedroomed apartments are let to tenants.
The scheme for the over 55s was delivered by independent, not-for-profit housing company, South Tyneside Housing Ventures Trust, in partnership with construction firm Galliford Try Partnerships North East.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Smith, said: “I am honoured to open this complex.
“It’s a real asset for the borough and helps meet the need for quality housing for older people.
“You only have to look at the residents to see that it is a wonderful place to live with a great community feel.”
Ward councillors chose Joseph Collin House after Joseph Henry Collin, who was born in Jarrow.
He fought in the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment and was killed in the First World War at Givenchy, France, aged 24.
He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery, dedication and sacrifice.
Sara Holmes, Development Director with Galliford Try Partnerships North East, added: “It is very gratifying to hear that our client – and most importantly the residents at Joseph Collin House – is so pleased with the new environment.”
The project got £1m grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency’s Affordable Homes Programme.
The apartments are self-contained, with a private front door and are complemented by a communal area on the ground floor and a residents’ garden with seating. The two and four-storey building overlooks open green spaces across Ferry Street.
Amanda Lamb lives in a two-bedroom apartment with husband Kevin and their 19-year-old son Michael.
She said: “We absolutely love it here and I think this will be our permanent home.
“The location is fantastic, we’ve all the shops on our doorstep and it’s got great transport links for my son to get to Newcastle University and his part-time job.
“It is level access which is important for us as my husband has breathing issues and struggles with stairs.
“The design makes it feel like a hotel, all the corridors are carpeted with little seating areas and balconies and there is a garden. It also feels very safe.”