£2.2m upgrade for care home
A CONTROVERSIAL care home run by Sunderland Council could be in line for a £2.2million revamp.
Social Services bosses want to redevelop the Wellesley Community Home in Blyth, Northumberland, which houses some of the toughest young offenders from Wearside.Currently it accommodates up to 30 children and takes up 22 acres of land. Under plans outlined by Social Services director John Marsden a large part of the Wellesley site will be demolished, including 16 staff houses, offices, a chapel and a bungalow.In their place will be four new accommodation blocks and new office building, releasing a large area of land which will be available for sale.And the home will then only take up eight acres of land compared to the 22
acres it currently occupies.Mr Marsden says the refit will cost £2.2million and the council has put aside £1.5million already.The rest of the cash will eventually come from the trustees of the home after the sale of the surplus land.But for the time being, councillors are being asked to approve the whole amount until the sale goes through.The former Wellesley Nautical School was given a facelift in 1993, when £280,000 was spent to help it house girls as well as boys.But a year later, the home was at the centre of a political storm which led to calls for a public inquiry by city Tories.A group of youngsters housed at the centre ran amok in Rothbury, Northumberland, and stole a car.The Tories wanted an urgent review of security and called for resignations over the matter.Later that year, a group of youngsters, believed to be high on solvents, ran amok at the centre