A new £3million learning disability care service in Huntingdonshire was officially opened last week.
Glebe Farm, in Green Lane, Upton, is a home for nine adults with learning disabilities and complex needs.
The specialist nurse-led service was designed by the care provider Innovative Support in Specialist Services (ISISS).
The facility will allow people to be supported closer to their families, rather than in many cases, being moved to homes outside of Cambridgeshire.
Welcoming more than 50 guests to the opening, including Huntingdon mayor Councillor Sarah Gifford, Daya Thayan, chief executive of Kingsley Healthcare, which will run the facility, said: “As soon as we came across this peaceful, rural site we knew it would be the perfect setting for our latest learning disability service to meet the needs of families in Cambridgeshire.
“The transformation of Glebe Farm into a centre of excellence has been the result of a lot of hard work and consultation involving our project management and commissioning teams working closely with professionals from the local authorities.”
A plaque was unveiled by Chris May, operations director of ISISS, and Mark Pavis and Mark Rothero, executives from Santander, which helped to fund the project.
Ahead of the formal opening, the first two residents had already arrived at their new home which has been designed around the original farmhouse, refurbished and converted into three partly self-contained apartments.
Two new buildings, providing a further six apartments, have been built alongside the farmhouse on the five-and-a-half acre site.
A courtyard has been developed to incorporate one of two sensory gardens and plans have been drawn up for part of the land to be transformed into a wildflower meadow, vegetable garden, orchard and family farming facility.
Planning approval has been given for the service to keep horses to establish a residents’ riding centre.
Nearly 25 staff, including six nurses, have already been recruited at Glebe Farm; an additional 20-plus support workers as well as additional nurses will be needed as further residents arrive.
Mr May and his brother, Nick, unveiled plaques in memory of their parents, and a £500 cheque was presented to Upton Parish Council.
Cllr Gifford, who chatted with staff and guests, said: “When I was invited I did not know what to expect, but I have been blown away by the quality of the facilities here.”