THE Heathcote Dementia Village project has made some significant progress during the past few months.
Just before Christmas the project was transferred to Advance Heathcote Inc. and a sub-committee made up of local volunteers was formed.
“The feasibility study has proved there is a great need for specialised dementia care in the wider region with a potential need for new beds — in excess of 2000 within three years,” sub-committee chair Stephen Trompp said.
“The study also demonstrated Heathcote was an ideal community to host such an innovative village.”
Advance Heathcote has engaged a specialist advisory firm to prepare a detailed business case that can be put before potential operators of a facility, investors who might fund construction and various levels of government, with the aim of moving the project forward into the actual planning and then construction phase.
“There is still a lot of work to be done and a lot of potential negotiation before we can say we actually will have a village in Heathcote, but we are moving in the right direction,” Mr Trompp said.
“One thing that was tremendously encouraging is the support from local parties. We needed some real money to be able to engage the advisers and have been able to do this with significant financial support from organisations like the Community Bank, Mandalay Resources and Heathcote Lions — all of whom realised that this was a potentially great opportunity for the town and our region.”
Another important step is that the potential site has been identified and negotiations opened to secure it for any future building.
Advance Heathcote is planning a community information session on Friday, January 24 at Barrack Reserve Stadium. It will be held at 4.30 pm to coincide with the night market taking place that evening, and everyone is welcome to attend.