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Old October 4th, 2011, 10:50 AM   #1
Newcastle Historian
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Veterans Retreat Village | Northumberland | Various | Cancelled

A ‘Village’ to be built in Northumberland for veterans
by Tom Mullen, The Journal, October 4th 2011



A PIONEERING £27m care “village” for injured soldiers is to be created in the North East of England.

The Veteran’s Retreat Village, which will be home to some 300 wounded or emotionally-traumatised servicemen and women, will be the first of its kind to be built in Britain.

Artist’s impressions reveal how the facility will look when it is built near Ebchester, County Durham, on a 55-acre plot of land just over the border in Northumberland.

A group of veterans helped launch the project in a walk-about event, where detailed plans for the project were unveiled.

It will include a fully-staffed 90-bed nursing and care facility, leisure centre with swimming pool, woodland walks, lakes and a donkey sanctuary.

Veterans’ Retreat, the charity behind the project, used the event to kick-start its Building Our Heroes a Home campaign, and hopes to raise initial funds in excess of £100,000 to get the project off the ground.

The project is being led by 64-year-old former military policeman Bill Liddle, who hopes the village will be completed within five years, with the first 20 bungalows finished by 2013.

The Duke and Duchess of Northumberland are the charity’s official patrons.

Mr Liddle said: “The dream of Veterans’ Retreat Village has now moved one step closer to reality.

Veteran’s Retreat will host numerous fundraising events and activities throughout the year, including its inaugural black tie auction ball in early 2012 in Newcastle.

More details are available at www.veteransretreat.org.uk


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...#ixzz1ZngAbBDg

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Last edited by Newcastle Historian; October 11th, 2011 at 12:27 PM.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 11:24 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian View Post
.
The above (initially posted on the "Tyne Valley Area - Developments" thread) sounds a very interesting project.

Perhaps, even at this early stage, it should have its own "Project Thread" set up.

BUT, on which part of our forum should a project thread for this be located?

It could be on the 'Sunderland and Durham' forum, as it is near Ebchester in County Durham though it is being built in Northumberland. It could be on the 'Communal Area' of the N E England Forum, though that does not get many visitors which would restrict the quantity of posts onto the thread. Finally, it could be on the 'Newcastle Forum', as it is to be built in an area of Northumberland to the West of Newcastle that is covered by the Newcastle Forum (we go further west in fact, as far west as Hexham).

So, what do you think, where should a Project Thread be set up?

A potential Thread Title would be - Veterans Retreat Village | Northumberland | Various | Pre-planning

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In the absence of further comment (there have been some exchanges on the Admin Thread about this) I will set up the Project Thread on the Newcastle Forum, in due course.

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Last edited by Newcastle Historian; October 26th, 2012 at 07:50 AM.
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Old October 11th, 2011, 12:28 PM   #3
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Done.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 08:10 AM   #4
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I was planning to check on the Veterans Retreat website, for the latest news on the Project today, when I discovered that the website (which had a LOT of information on it) is no longer there.

All that is there is the below . . .



There is also (though it does not show up above) an e-mail address on that page, to contact . . .

[email protected]

So I have written to them to ask them for the latest situation.
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Old October 27th, 2012, 09:18 AM   #5
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The old prudhoe hospital would be an amazing site for this. Hope they're using somewhere similar and regenerating old buildings instead of building a whole new complex. That site would have everything needed and much more for this project to be amazing. In fact I can't think of anywhere more suitable!
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Old October 27th, 2012, 09:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerrylianne View Post
The old prudhoe hospital would be an amazing site for this. Hope they're using somewhere similar and regenerating old buildings instead of building a whole new complex. That site would have everything needed and much more for this project to be amazing. In fact I can't think of anywhere more suitable!

The only thing I have of the old website (because I 'copied and pasted' it into Post One) is the below illustration, and I'm not certain whether it shows converted old buildings or new buildings . . .





Hopefully, I'll get a response from my e-mail!

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Last edited by Newcastle Historian; October 27th, 2012 at 11:12 AM.
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Old October 27th, 2012, 11:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerrylianne View Post
The old prudhoe hospital would be an amazing site for this. Hope they're using somewhere similar and regenerating old buildings instead of building a whole new complex. That site would have everything needed and much more for this project to be amazing. In fact I can't think of anywhere more suitable!
I think the idea is to have a place that does not have an 'institutionalised' feel to it, so I would imagine they are planning somewhere a world away from the red bricks of Prudhoe Hospital
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Old October 27th, 2012, 05:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ellwood View Post
I think the idea is to have a place that does not have an 'institutionalised' feel to it, so I would imagine they are planning somewhere a world away from the red bricks of Prudhoe Hospital
Yeah you're totally right, although when I visited prudhoe hospital reccently I thought it was less 'institution' like and more village like. I think if you got rid of the red brick buildings but kept some of the quainter and grander ones and added more houses and things to it it could be ideal. Some of the buildings there are very 'asylum like' but there are also some lovely buildings there, in an idyllic setting that could be perfect for this kind of thing. I just really hate seeing these buildings sitting empty, and of all the hospitals and asylums I've seen, I thought prudhoe seemed to have village feel to it, far away from the institutionalised feel of most of them.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 02:11 PM   #9
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Charity plans for injured soldiers' village in Northumberland fail to materialise

From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...-fails-7020412

Charity plans for injured soldiers' village in Northumberland fail to materialise
Apr 23, 2014 09:00 By Katie Davies


Johnson Beharry, who was awarded the Victoria Cross, back the project which was due to be built at Ebchester

Plans by a veterans’ charity set up to build a £27m retreat for severely injured soldiers in the North have ended in failure. The proposals for the retreat on a 55-acre site in Northumberland included specially adapted homes, a medical centre, a cinema, catering facilities and treatment rooms.

Victoria Cross awardee Johnson Beharry backed the scheme for the land near Ebchester, close to the border with County Durham.

Ex-military policeman Bill Liddle, a victim of combat stress from his days in Northern Ireland, was leading the charity behind the village project, which was supposed to be ready last year. But Northumberland County Council has revealed that it has had “no contact from anyone connected with Veteran’s Retreat since some pre-planning application discussions held around October 2011.”

Banks, local authorities and investment firms were invited to back the Retreat’s “buy to let” homes for limbless soldiers. It was claimed the investment would be repaid thanks to housing benefits paid to the disabled vets who could live in the community for the rest of their lives. A number of charity events also raised money for the scheme.

Mr Liddle, 67, claimed most of the money lost was from his own personal business loan. He said: “I have a background in the military police, and my integrity is second to none. I won a bravery award. Never in my life have I done anything which is against the law. My business was to manufacture time frame housing developments and raise capital against rents to cover the mortgages. We built bungalows for the MoD on the Falklands. The charity has four trustees, including an accountant. Most of the money lost was mine, not donations, essentially it was a corporate loan. It turned from Veteran’s Retreat to veteran’s training charity, set up support for veterans looking for work. But I have now pulled out.” Veteran Retreat’s latest accounts to the Charity Commision showed income of £4,246, and outgoings of £31,841
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 03:19 PM   #10
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Label me as sceptical but I'm sure the government would find the money for an asylum centre. Our ex services are treated like garbage.
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Old April 24th, 2014, 01:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ellwood View Post
From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...-fails-7020412

Charity plans for injured soldiers' village in Northumberland fail to materialise
Apr 23, 2014 09:00 By Katie Davies

Plans by a veterans’ charity set up to build a £27m retreat for severely injured soldiers in the North have ended in failure. The proposals for the retreat on a 55-acre site in Northumberland included specially adapted homes, a medical centre, a cinema, catering facilities and treatment rooms. Victoria Cross awardee Johnson Beharry backed the scheme for the land near Ebchester, close to the border with County Durham.
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It is a great shame that this excellent project appears to have fallen through.

As I wrote earlier in this thread, I have e-mailed the project a number of times, saying who I was and what this site was, and asking for updates.

The last e-mail I sent was on Monday of this week, co-incidentally.

I have never received a reply.

This additional photo was in the printed version of the above article, in the Journal of Wednesday 23rd April 2014 . . .




As I said, a great shame this project almost certainly will not now happen.
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Old October 22nd, 2015, 02:05 AM   #12
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I don't know if anyone saw the "DIY SOS" programme on BBC1 yesterday. It showed (in two episodes) a similar project to the one on this thread.

Two differences though . . .

1 - It was the conversion of an existing old and semi-derelict street (in Manchester) rather than a new-build.

2 - It was actually built !

My reason for posting about this excellent project here is to suggest that if it can be done in Manchester . . . perhaps there could be renewed hope for this happening (at last) in Northumberland.

LINK to BBC Site about the DIY SOS "Homes for Veterans" programme - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p035vdwv

When last I tried I was unable to contact anyone from the Northumberland project.

If any other members of the forum, perhaps some of the many new members who have joined us since this project was last discussed on here, have any ideas about who to contact, it would be good to see if there was any hope for this very deserving project?
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air force, county durham, durham, ebchester, england, newcastle, northumberland, project - newcastle area, united kingdom, veterans, veterans retreat

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