A painting unveiled in the new library at Bedford Charter House celebrates the start of a new chapter in providing homes for older people in the town, and a partnership between Bedford Citizens Housing Association and Grand Union Housing Group.
The painting, donated by professional artist and Bedford Charter House resident Veronica Livock, marks the end of Phase one - the building of a new residential care home - and the beginning of Phase 2 - new ‘extra care’ self contained apartments - in a unique £11 million development by the housing association.
Artist Veronica Livock was born in Italy, grew up in Libya, attended the School of Fine Arts in Rome and became a tutor at the School of Arts and Crafts in Benghazi, Libya, before marrying a Palestine police officer from Bedfordshire in 1952 and coming to England for the first time in 1955. After moving to England, Veronica continued painting and has had works exhibited locally at the Cecil Higgins Gallery.
Housing association chief executive Vanessa Connolly said: “This beautiful still life will be seen and admired by residents of our new Bedford Charter House residential home and by those who move into the Extra Care apartments who will be sharing the clubhouse facilities and specialist services. We are extremely touched by Veronica’s fabulous gift.”
Under a new partnership agreement, the Grand Union Housing Group is lending Bedford Citizens Housing Association £5 million towards the cost of building the second phase of its Charter House extra care scheme in Kimbolton Road.
Grand Union Housing Group chief executive Alan Humphreys said: “We have been delighted to have been able to facilitate the funding for this new development. This is a new and significant milestone in our relationship and I am really pleased we have been able to work together to make sure these new homes are built.”
Residents are moving into the new Bedford Charter House this month and work will begin demolishing the original adjacent residential care home in April to make way for 42 apartments, expected to be completed in June 2016.