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P1040968Avoca Consulting Engineers is celebrating the completion of a unique conversion scheme which has seen St Francis of Assisi Church in Walker transformed into an extra care housing for older people with care and housing needs.

Client, St Anthony of Padua Community Association, decided to convert the parish church the church in 2012 and following a year on site it is now home to 16 one bedroom flats, providing tenants with the ability to live independently in their own homes much longer than they may have ordinarily due to the extra support available on site.

Providing mechanical and electrical design services on the project, Avoca Consulting Engineers worked alongside a great local design team which included; Redbox Design Group, Koru Property Services, Elliott Associates and Portland Consulting Engineers.

James Houghton, Director of Avoca Consulting Engineers said; “This project gave us a unique challenge in converting a well-loved but under used parish facility into a modern and vibrant support living scheme. Father Michael Conaty is a truly inspirational character and working alongside him to help him achieve his goal was a pleasure in itself”.

A special blessing of the building was carried out by Bishop Seamus Cunningham: Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle Diocese prior to the scheme’s completion. The event was very well attended by local parishioners, residents, counsellors and other supporters of the project who also enjoyed a preview of the housing scheme prior to its opening.