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Duke opens retirement village

The Duke stopped to chat with residents training in a fitness gym. He also listened to the village choir and viewed arts and craft work on display before uinveiling a plaque to celebrate the official opening of the £33.5 million scheme.

Lovat Fields, at Willen, is the result of a five-year partnership between Milton Keynes Council, The ExtraCare Charitable Trust and Focus Futures.

Mr and Mrs Roberts, from Milton Keynes, are among the first of more than 100 residents moving into the 258-home village this month, which is being occupied at a rate of up to ten properties per day. More than 300 residents are expected to be living there by September.

Mr Roberts said: “The Duke took a keen interest in the village. He was surprised by the depth of interest that was shown towards the residents when the village was planned, the fact that it catered for a wide range of ages, needs and people in different circumstances.”

Cllr Irene Henderson, of Milton Keynes Council, praised village development partners. She said: “The village is a wonderful example of all that we are trying to achieve for older people. The council is now committed to making this a choice and a reality for many more people.”

Plans for a second village were under way, she added.

Equipment for The Village Centre can only be funded through a £700,000 local appeal set up by The ExtraCare Charitable Trust. Facilities include: a fitness gym, spa pool, restaurant and bar, village shop, arts and crafts centre, village hall, IT/technology suite, hair dressing salon, library, greenhouse and woodwork shop.

Pictured: (from left) Residents Pam Trendle and Bob Roberts, HRH The Duke of Kent and village manager Jonny Westbrooke.

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