THE former Miraj Hotel and Leisure Club building in Ashbourne is to be reopened as a care home.
Work is under way to refurbish the Derby Road premises and staff are being recruited.
The Miraj went into administration in July last year – to the surprise of many people in town.
New operator Milford Care will reopen the site in the summer as Ashbourne Lodge. Milford already has three homes in Derbyshire, two in Nottingham, and runs retirement apartments in Belper.
Ashbourne Lodge will have 54 en suite bedrooms and offer nursing, residential and dementia care for long-stay, respite and day care clients. There will also be a residents’ pub, café, cinema room, reminiscence room, swimming pool and sensory gardens.
Milford has appointed Jim Watt as the new manager. Mr Watt is a finalist in the frontline leader category at the National Great British Care Awards, to be held in London next month.
He comes with years of experience at Milford House, the company’s care home in Milford, where he was a deputy unit manager. He is now working with the Milford Care management team to recruit and train staff, establish relationships with GPs and other visiting professionals, and is getting ready for the opening of Ashbourne Lodge in the summer.
He was the East Midlands Care Home Worker of 2011, a top-five finalist in the 2012 awards, and Front Line Leader in 2013.
Mr Watt said: “We are really looking forward to opening here in Ashbourne. We’ve already had more than 20 inquiries from families in the area looking for a care home.
“It’s important to us that we offer a comfortable and safe environment for our residents, and we want them to feel like they are really at home – from the relaxing, peaceful garden to en suite comfortable bedrooms.
“Milford Care has more than 30 years’ experience in this area, and we know it’s the little things that make a difference to our residents’ lives. Things like having a sensory garden, when people can feel and smell the flowers and experience the different textures, or allowing them to have a ‘grow your own’ area, something that has been very popular in our other homes.
“We will be able to offer a complete range of services, whether people are looking for a care home or 24 hour nursing.
“We like to think of it as a ‘home for life’ that means residents can get everything they need here, without having to move if their care needs change in the future.”