A Hawley care home resident removed the first ceremonial shovel of earth to mark the start of building work on a new £11.2 million ‘boutique-style’ care village.

Henry Hemmings, 81, was joined by leaders from care home group Gracewell Healthcare and senior management from Sunrise Senior Living to mark the start of building of the all new Abercorn House in Fernhill Road.

Sunrise has just taken over the management of Gracewell Healthcare’s 11 homes and will run the new Abercorn House when it is completed under the Gracewell brand.

Henry, who has lived at the existing home since March, said: “It was an honour to be part of the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Abercorn House.

“It’s a very exciting time here at Abercorn. My fellow residents and I talk about the new building a lot and we are all very much looking forward to moving in next year.

“I was a landscape gardener, so watching the builders lay the foundations and design the layout has been fascinating for me to watch day-by-day. You can already see that it is going to be a very impressive building.”

The new Abercorn House will replace the existing building on the site and will be part of the wider All Saints Care Village.

The ground-breaking ceremony took place on Monday and was attended by members of the local community, including Father Martyn Neale from All Saint’s Church in Hawley, and representatives from Help for Heroes and the Alzheimer’s Society.

The new 90-bed Abercorn House will include 12 independent living apartments and 40 specialist beds for people with dementia.

There will be a hair and beauty spa, cafe, library and Wi-Fi access throughout.

There will also be a hydrotherapy pool, jacuzzi, cinema, physiotherapy room and a prayer room.

Building work is expected to last 60 weeks with residents moving in from the autumn of 2015. It will be part of the All Saints Care Village which will also include a fully rebuilt neighbouring Randell House care home. Work on the all-new 45-bed Randell House will start when Abercorn House is finished.

Sunrise managing director Amanda Scott said the ceremony marked the arrival of a new generation of care facility in the area: “It was a wonderful occasion and a lovely opportunity to meet some of the residents and the wider community. It’s already clear that the new Abercorn will be a very impressive building and we’re determined to make it open to all generations here in Hawley.”

Gracewell CEO Peter Curtis said the new home would build on the proud reputation of the existing Abercorn House.