'Strong feeling' community interest bid could save under threat Budleigh care home
PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 October 2019
A bid has been launched to save a Budleigh Salterton care home which is under threat of closure.
Speaking at a town council meeting on Monday (October 28), county councillor Christine Channon said the process of taking over Abbeyfield Shandford and running it as a community interest company are in the early stages.
The Abbeyfield Society will be consulting with staff and residents in November over the possible closure of the home.
The charity says the building's size and design means it is unlikely to meet the 'high standards' residents and regulators expect.
Cllr Channon said the management at Abbeyfield Shandford has a desire to run the home as a community interest company and she has requested a meeting with the chief executive of Abbeyfield.
A community interest company is a social enterprise which wants to use its profits and assets for public benefit.
She said: "Certainly we have a very strong feeling that we can do our very best, providing we can find sufficient due diligence, to actually maintain it as a home in the town.
"It mustn't close."
This comes at a time when Abbeyfield has clarified what has happened to a £333,000 legacy left to the Shandford Society shortly before the home was transferred to the national charity.
John McBurnie Wood, who died in 2010, bequeathed the six-figure sum to Shandford and two years later, the home was taken over by Abbeyfield.
The charity said some of that money was already spent by the Shandford Society prior to the takeover and the funds 'have always and continue to be under the control of Mr Wood's family'.
Some of the money has been spent on decorating the lounge and dining areas of the home.
A spokesman for the Abbeyfield Society said: "We are exceptionally grateful to the late Mr Wood for his generosity, and for the support of the representatives who manage his estate who have enabled us to make improvements at Shandford during the past seven years.
"If Shandford closes then it will be up to his representatives to decide how best to continue using his bequest."