The first tranche of public funds were released to housing provider Luminus this week to help cover the cost of a new care home in St Ives.

Huntingdonshire District Council released an initial £500,000 to Luminus to help progress its plans for 55 one and two-bedroom flats at Langley Court, in Ramsey Road.

The council has pledged to commit up to £5.5million in public money to the scheme, with a further £2.3million coming from the Government's Home and Communities Agency.

The funding will enable Luminus to build the flats along with communal facilities including a restaurant, hairdressing salon, assisted bathing suite, lounge and meeting spaces.

Councillor Jason Ablewhite, leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, said: "I am delighted that we have been able to work in partnership with Luminus to meet the needs of older people in our community.

"By providing Luminus with this loan, we have helped to deliver a scheme that will meet the needs of older people in St Ives for many years to come.

"This is a much needed scheme that will deliver support, care and quality homes for those that need extra care now and into the future."

According to Cllr Ablewhite, the scheme is scheduled to be completed by "late 2016".

When it rubber stamped the loan, back in September, the council insisted that the loan would "not have a negative financial impact" on its finances and added that it had sought legal advice over the terms of the 30-year loan arrangement.

Dr Chan Abraham, Luminus chief executive, said; "Our relationship with the local authority is stronger than it has ever been and we are truly pleased to be making progress along The Road to Renewal together.

"This loan will help older people living in Cambridgeshire to maintain a good quality of life, with peace of mind, in a welcoming and friendly community and we look forward to the successful completion of these new homes."