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A group of Oxfordshire students have had their perceptions of retirement living changed after visiting a major £12m scheme being built in the heart of Banbury.

The group of 17 students from various local colleges were taking part in a week-long work experience programme with North Oxfordshire MP Victoria Prentis when they visited the site of Park Gardens, in Bath Road, which is being funded and constructed by Bromford.

Site manager Peter Marr asked the 16 to 18-year-olds to don hard hats and high–vis jackets as he took them on a tour of the development which once completed will provide 78 one and two bedroom apartments for over 55s with options for rent and purchase. He told the students that 700 different types of operatives had played a part in the construction process since November 2016 and that 160,000 bricks had been laid at the four-storey scheme so far as well as the fitting of 33,000 roof tiles weighing a huge 165 tonnes.

Afterwards the students were taken through the sales and marketing process and got a sneak peek at two different show apartments giving the students a taste of what the finished homes will look like once residents start moving in from Spring 2019.

Pleasure

Edward Goundrey-Smith, who is currently studying A levels in English, History and Philosophy at Sibford School, said: “I was really surprised actually not only by the detailed process that goes behind a development as substantial as this but also the quality of the finished product.

“There is still perhaps a stigma attached to retirement living but these finished apartments are stylish and of the highest quality, and I already get the sense that once people move in there will be a real community spirit around the place.”

In a letter to Bromford following the event, MP Victoria Prentis wrote: “Many of them told me that the tour was a highlight of their week, especially the high vis jackets and hard hats! It really helped open their eyes to the work you are doing in and around Banbury.”

Mr Marr, who is managing the three-phase construction process, added: “It was a real pleasure hosting the students who asked lots of questions and were continually engaged. I think a lot of them were surprised at just how thorough our processes are and many of them joked whether we could lift the age restriction so they could live there!”

Park Gardens, which overlooks People’s Park, is on track for an early 2019 finish and will also provide a range of on-site facilities including a café bistro and bar, lounge, activity studio, gym and hair and beauty salon. People interested in Park Gardens should call 0800 121 6950 or, alternatively, head to this page to have a look for yourself.

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