A NEW care home has been launched in York, providing 24-hour residential and dementia care for 66 residents, and also creating 50 new jobs for local people.

Handley House's operator, Ideal Carehomes, has invested £10million in the site.

The home has officially opened after a ceremonial ribbon cutting took place at the home on Wednesday, May 1.

It has been named after the former Handley Page RAF aircraft repair station on which it is located on Green Lane in Clifton.

Representatives from the Yorkshire Air Museum were invited to the exclusive VIP event along with 94-year-old Dorothy Harrison who worked as a payroll administrator at the base in the 1940s and now lives at Ideal’s sister-home Ebor Court in York.

They were welcomed by Handley House’s registered manager Rachel McNally and general manager, Michael Gledhill, who presented a cheque for £250 to the museum’s Dr John Wright, collections coordinator, Norman Spencer, volunteer, Richard O’Brien, public engagement manager, and Ian Richardson, communications manager, in appreciation of their help in piecing together the site’s unique history.

The group formally declared the home open whilst remembering former workers who were credited with keeping hundreds of planes airborne during the Second World War.

Rachel said: “The team and I are absolutely thrilled to officially open the doors of Handley House for the first time and it’s an honour to have such a distinguished group of individuals help us cut the ribbon here today. Dorothy, John, Richard and Ian all have an incredible connection to Handley Page and we hope that they’re as pleased as we are to welcome in a new era for the site. Staff have been absolutely fascinated to learn more about its historical significance and we know that residents and their loved ones will take great pleasure in keeping this extraordinary wartime story alive as we go about our daily lives here in Clifton.”

Dorothy Harrison, 94, added: “Today has been a whirlwind but it is amazing to see such a beautiful home standing on the site of the Handley Page factory which holds so many memories for me. I feel privileged to be part of the official opening, everyone has been so kind and welcoming. My father also used to work at Handley Page and I know that if he were here today, he would also be suitably impressed with the home.”

Handley House has been built by Ideal Carehomes' sister-company LNT Construction.

It boasts a range of state-of-the-art facilities including a hair salon, café, cinema, garden lounge and lavish ‘Sky’ bar. It also uses an innovative energy efficient ground-source heating system throughout the 37,000 sq ft site.

The home will be hosting open days for the public on May 10 and 11 where those living in the area can come along and view its facilities first hand.