Construction has finally begun on a new lift at Anderson’s care home in Elgin after the project was hit by near-crippling rising costs.
The trust received planning permission for the project in February 2020, just a month before the first Covid lockdown.
That inevitably put the project on hold as attention turned towards caring for the residents as best they could.
However, the delay and impact of the pandemic pushed up the costs from £110,000 to nearly £200,000 with the entire construction industry hit by rising prices.
‘New lift will transform Anderson’s’
Anderson’s needs a new lift in the care home due to two of the three existing ones, the first of which was installed in the 1960s, not being fit for modern purposes.
One doesn’t have space for someone using a walking frame while the other barely has enough space for a wheelchair and carer to be in at the same time.
The new installation will have space for larger wheelchairs as well as multiple people to accompany them.
Fundraising from the care home and grants from local and national initiatives helped cover the substantial increase in costs.
Iain Jamieson, chairman of the trustees at Anderson’s, paid tribute to the community support to fund the improvements for residents.
He said: “An up-to-date larger lift has been a priority for some time.
“The property is an A-listed building and great care has been taken by the architects, Wittets, to ensure that the new lift complements the existing architecture.
“The new lift will transform the day-to-day operation of Andersons saving time and effort for staff, professionals and visitors and make movement around the building considerably easier for residents.
“It will enable us to better meet our core purpose of providing excellent care services.”
Incredible story of how Anderson’s care home was formed
A stage production of the incredible story of the man who laid the foundations for Anderson’s helped fund the installation of the new lift.
The care home was opened as the Elgin Institute for the support of old age and the education of youth in 1832.
It was funded by a £70,000 deed of trust, the equivalent about £6.5 million today, from Andrew Anderson.
When he was a young boy he slept in the ruins of Elgin Cathedral with his homeless mother, relying on the generosity of locals.
However, he showed promise and won a scholarship before running away to London, eventually securing service in the army of the East India Company and rising to the rank of Major General.
He died in London in 1824 and the institute initially provided a home to educate 50 children so they could earn a living while also accommodating 10 “aged persons”.
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