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Next week marks start of a new era for Elizabeth Court


Saturday 21st May 2011 (Andrew Griffiths)
Next week marks start of a new era for Elizabeth Court

A BURTON housing association is days away from completing its takeover of a town retirement complex saved from closure, the Mail can reveal.

Tenants of Elizabeth Court, in Brough Road, Winshill, have been sent letters from Anchor Trust informing them that Trent and Dove Housing will take over ownership of the complex on Monday.

The transfer will come nine months almost to the day since Anchor announced it was closing the home — before backing down in the face of a fierce campaign to save it.

The letter to residents is signed by Helen Orford, the Anchor regional manager who dropped the bombshell announcement about the trust’s plans to close the complex in August last year.

She confirms that as of Monday all inquiries should be directed to Burton-based Trent and Dove, whose staff will be on hand throughout the week to advise tenants about the transfer.

Ms Orford adds: “I would like to thank you for your patience and understanding throughout the transfer process and wish you well with your new landlord.”

Liz Ballinger, one of the sisters who led the fight against the closure and the daughter of a resident, said the transfer would bring to an end months of worry for tenants and their families.

She said: “When I told them Trent and Dove would be taking over on Monday their faces lit up — they were really excited. It has been a long time coming and everyone is really pleased.

“Trent and Dove is a local company and their staff have been going in and talking to people. They’ve all been really nice and friendly.”

Once the takeover is complete, Trent and Dove plans to hold a celebration party for residents, their families and dignitaries including Burton MP Andrew Griffiths, who was a vociferous supporter of the campaign.

He said: “It’s hard now to think that people were saying Elizabeth Court was a lost cause and that the bulldozers were guaranteed to move in.

“This will bring a sigh of relief to residents and their families, who can look forward with excitement to the plans Trent and Dove have to renovate the complex for the future.

“In the course of the campaign, I visited Elizabeth Court on many occasions when the residents were worried and fearful, so it will be brilliant to be able to go back and celebrate the success of the campaign.”

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