WORK on a new £10.4 million extra care and dementia unit in Bingley is now complete.

Fern House, an 84,000 sq ft scheme developed by The Abbeyfield Society at Fernbank Drive, is now welcoming its first residents.

The seven-storey building, designed by Brewster Bye Architects and built by Bardsley Construction, has brought around 60 jobs to the area as well as volunteering opportunities.

It will be operated by Abbeyfield The Dales and includes 49 one and two-bedroom extra care apartments and a residential suite, complete with 30 en-suite bedrooms which will be dedicated to supporting people living with dementia.

There is also a restaurant, a hair and beauty salon, a rooftop lounge and courtyard garden areas.

The development stands on the site of the former Bingley Hospital, with foundation stones from the original building restored to create a feature at the entrance.

Jackie Bradfield, chief executive of Abbeyfield The Dales said: “Fern House has set a new benchmark in terms of quality and specification for us.

“When this is combined with the fact that it’s one of our largest developments with a superb range of facilities, there’s no doubt it will be a fantastic place to live and work and we are confident that it will prove to be a highly valuable asset for the local community as a whole. It’s a real privilege to welcome our new residents, who are currently moving in and enjoying their surroundings, as well as creating so many new jobs within the local area.”

Roly Bardsley, of Bardsley Construction, added: “The challenge of any technically demanding construction project, such as Fern House, is made easier by working with specialist local supply chain partners to meet Abbeyfield’s aspirations of providing the highest quality accommodation possible.

“This has certainly been achieved at Fern House and it’s a project that we’re delighted to put our name to.”

Established in 1956, the Abbeyfield Society is a nationwide charity which provides housing, support and companionship for people in later life. It now has more than 500 houses and developments throughout the UK that are home to around 8,000 older people.

Keith Brewster, from Brewster Bye Architects, said: “Fern House is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved and to see our ideas and designs come to fruition is hugely rewarding.”

He added the development was planned and designed to complement the existing streetscape and described it as a “wonderful living environment”.