The owners of a high-end Northumberland residential property for older people are set to invest in a major refurbishment programme to further enhance what it can offer its guests.

Wentworth Grange in Riding Mill was founded in an Edwardian manor house almost 40 years ago by specialist community nurse Phyllis Lee and her late husband Ronald, with a new building being constructed in the property’s grounds 13 years ago in response to new regulations in the care sector.

Their son Jeff now works alongside his mother as a director of the business and is overseeing the six-figure refurbishment, which will include the creation of two new orangeries, a new reception area, new panoramic windows to take advantage of views over the Tyne Valley, a new tea room and extensions to a number of guest bedrooms over the next six months.

RMT Accountants & Business Advisors is working with the management team on the financial and business aspects of the upgrade programme and the wider business’s continuing development.

Wentworth Grange is a 50-bed property with substantial gardens that is dual registered to provide both residential and nursing care, so that guests can stay in the same familiar location as their care needs change, and also offers specialist accommodation to care for patients with dementia.

It is run by a team of 62 staff, each of whom has an individual personal development plan designed by the business’s training manager to ensure their skills and qualifications remain fully up-to-date for the roles they’re undertaking.

Most of those moving to Wentworth Grange come from within a 50 mile radius, although some have relocated to the property from as far afield as London and Scotland.

Jeff Lee says: “Wentworth Grange is more than just a business for our family – we’re very closely involved with day-to-day operations, have invested several million pounds in continual improvements over the last four decades and have designed this refurbishment to ensure we continue to provide the very highest quality facilities for our guests.

“We don’t benchmark ourselves against other care homes, but aim instead to provide the same standards of service, food, furnishings, decor and support that guests would expect from a high-end hotel.

“No matter what their age, each of our guests still has their own individual expectations and personal preferences, and we do everything we can to meet and exceed them.

“We’ve always gone well above and beyond the statutory view of what a care home should be, and our approach of concentrating on what each of our guests wants and needs, rather than what is wrong with them, has been central to our long-term success.”

A number of North East contractors have already been signed up to the refurbishment project, with Imperial Cabinets of Blaydon designing the bedroom furnishings and fittings, Hexham’s Abbey Conservatories providing the orangeries and glasswork, and Blaydon’s CSN Services managing the electrical requirements.

Jeff Lee continues: “We choose to work with local suppliers wherever we can, and being able to appoint a number of high-quality regional contractors to work on this refurbishment will enable us to add to the seven-figure sum we already put into the North East economy every year.

“The improvements we’re making will further enhance the welcome we can give to guests and their families, and they will position us perfectly as we move into our fifth decade.

“RMT’s ongoing advice has helped us build firm financial foundation on which we can take this investment programme forward.  The team adheres to the same high standards that we set for ourselves and their wider contacts within the regional business community have also proven to be extremely beneficial.”

Stephen Slater, director at RMT Accountants says: “Wentworth Grange sets the gold standard in terms of the facilities it offers to residents and the levels of care that go alongside them, and it’s exciting for us to be part of the next stage of this unique property’s evolution.”