Anita Neil, who represented Great Britain at the Olympics in Mexico in 1968 and Munich in 1972, was the guest of honour at an opening ceremony of a different kind as she joined the Mayor of Wellingborough, Cllr Jim Bass, and residents at the official launch of Knights Court, off Gold Street.
The ceremony featured live music as residents, their families and representatives came together to celebrate the completion of the transformation of the area, which includes a new £5.7 million 40-home supported living scheme and significant refurbishments to the three neighbouring blocks of flats. The entire cost of the scheme is £9.45 million, which was supported by the Homes and Community Agency.
Anita Neil, a Greatwell Homes tenant, took part in 4×100 metre relay final at the Olympic Games in 1968 and 1972. She also won two bronze medals at the 1969 European Championships in the 100 metres and 4×100 metre relay and a silver in the 4x100m relay at the 1970 Commonwealth Games. She was also part of a GB relay team which once held a world record.
She said: “This was a fantastic event to launch what is a wonderful scheme.
“I was delighted to get a tour around Knights Court to see the high standard of the properties. There is a real sense of community among residents there.
“Greatwell Homes has done itself proud with this development.”
Ray Whittaker, head of property services at Greatwell Homes, said: “We are delighted to complete what is a state-of-the-art scheme of high-quality homes.
“We worked closely with residents, architects, designers and the developer Wates Construction on the plans for the new build Knights Court and the flats.
“We wanted to create homes which meet the needs of individuals and could be adaptable to those needs over time. The new homes have definitely achieved this.
“Significant refurbishments to neighbouring properties at the site mean they match the look of the new scheme so the whole area has been lifted.”
The new supported living scheme features high-quality, modern self-contained apartments with facilities designed to meet a variety of needs. Some of the homes are designed specifically for wheelchair users.
Communal facilities at the scheme include an arts and crafts lounge, a library and music room, a treatment room and hair salon, laundry rooms, buggy store, lifts and two assisted bathrooms.