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Bold ambitions to create new Capability Scotland site

proposal to relocate one of Scotland’s largest dedicated care facilities for adults with physical and learning disabilities

An engagement exercise is to take place with residents, relatives and staff about a proposal to relocate one of Scotland’s largest dedicated care facilities for adults with physical and learning disabilities.

Capability Scotland, which operates the Upper Springland campus in Perth, is exploring the opportunity to replace it with a new, purpose-built facility at nearby Bertha Park, an emerging new community on the north-west edge of the city.

The charity, which has now started a process to communicate the project with staff, residents, relatives/carers as well as other stakeholders, says it is committed to ensuring the plans are shaped by all interested parties throughout the planning and design process.

Callum MacGregor, Director of Adult Services and Business Development with Capability Scotland, believes that engaging with key groups so early in the process, will mean the end result will be a UK-leading facility that pushes the boundaries of housing and care for people with complex needs.

He said: “The quality of care at Upper Springland is outstanding and our team does a truly impressive job, day in, day out – as evidenced by the continued high grades from the Care Inspectorate.

“But we have recognised that although the properties were state-of-the-art in their day, we now need to move away and to develop modern facilities that will become our flagship services.

“We have a rare opportunity to start with a blank canvas to completely re-imagine our services. We want to continue to challenge stereotypes of what is possible for disabled people and ensure we are achieving equality in all aspects of life.

“To help us with this task, we are totally committed to involving those with clear interests in all aspects of the design process and eventual move. And even though we are at a very early stage in the process, we want to provide a reassurance that all voices and opinions will be heard.

“What we can say, is that it will be the most significant and most complex project that Capability Scotland will have undertaken in many years.”

The premises at Upper Springland are now 40-years-old and are becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain. There is also the need to further safeguard against a future flood risk from the River Tay, which, although a long-term threat, is only likely to intensify with climate change.

Callum added that staff, customers and their families have been advised that no change will happen at Upper Springland for the foreseeable future as the project team estimate the new facility would be open in 2025 at the earliest.

The Upper Springland campus, on Isla Road, has three registered care homes and offers residential and respite care to 59 adults with physical disabilities and learning disabilities. There is also a day service – as well as a hydrotherapy pool, theatre and walled gardens.

Located just over four miles from Upper Springland, Bertha Park is a major expansion of Perth, with new homes, community facilities, workplaces, landscaped open ground and integrated infrastructure including footpaths and cycle routes.

Capability Scotland – which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year – delivers exemplary care, support and education for disabled children and adults across Scotland.

Founded in 1946, it has always strived to be a major ally in supporting disabled people to have full equality of opportunity and participation as citizens of Scotland.

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