Avonpark Retirement Village near Bath has been dubbed ‘very, very special’ by former BBC news reader Martyn Lewis.
Speaking at the official opening of the village’s new facilities, Mr Lewis, CBE, said: “This is just the start of something very special for Avonpark Village.”
It is 11 months since national operator Retirement Villages Ltd acquired the village, in Winsley Hill, Limpley Stoke. A substantial cash investment has seen a rolling programme of refurbishment, redecoration and remodelling breathing new life into the residential and care facilities available. The opening of the clubhouse with its new dining options, library and study area, lounge, conservatory and reception marks the completion of the work.
Mr Lewis’ mother was a village resident for two years, giving him a personal reason to accept the invitation to perform the official opening.
He said: “I always thought my mother’s room was good but it’s taken my breath away to see the difference Retirement Villages has made to the feel and quality. This is state of the art stuff. Mother would have been delighted!”
Mr Lewis spent time mingling with around 70 invited guests at the opening, including Mayor of Bradford-on-Avon Cllr Peter Leach, staff and residents. He unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion, took in the views of the south Cotswold valleys from the terrace and enjoyed a tour of the village which included bumping into some familiar faces among staff and residents.
“The staff I’ve met have all been relaxed and friendly and it is obvious that everyone is able to contribute to village life,” said Mr Lewis.
The official opening, which was preceded by a special preview for residents the day before, was also the launch pad for Avonpark Village Festival, a series of event taking place over the coming weeks and months in the new clubhouse.
Retirement Village Chief Executive Jon Gooding said: “As someone who knew Avonpark Village a few years back, Mr Lewis was the ideal guest to comment on the work we have undertaken. We were delighted to receive such a passionate endorsement from him and from many of the other guests who had a history with the village.
“A lot of work has gone into creating the new facilities here, which we believe will prove the ideal hub for all kinds of new, and current, activities now and in the future.”
Avonpark Village provides a range of living and care options for the over 55s as well as a range of communal facilities.