WORK has begun to turn a Greenock care home into flats for older people and those with disabilities so they can live more independently.

Blackwood Housing and Care is converting Maclehose Court on Eldon Street into modern accessible homes.

The charity says the new properties will be available later this year in partnership with the Scottish Government and Inverclyde Council.

Simon Fitzpatrick, development and commercial director at Blackwood, said: “We are delighted that construction has now started on site to deliver 22 new, accessible homes to Greenock.

“We’ve seen a rise in demand for more accessible homes, so we’re really excited to see the redevelopment of Maclehose Court begin, as it will add to the supply of these homes for customers.

“We look forward to seeing the finished homes and to welcoming the new customers later this year.”

Working with contractors GHI Ltd, the redevelopment by Blackwood will see the former care home transformed into 22 new accessible flats.

The charity aims to help people live their life to the full, by providing services which support them to live independently.

The new development on Eldon Street, will provide a mixture of flats including three specialist wheelchair units on the ground floor.

The Blackwood charity was set up to provide specialist care and housing for adults with severe disabilities and it ran the home for nearly 30 years.

In 2020 the charity took the decision to move away from a residential setting and create a range of much-needed accessible accommodation to promote independent living.

The move was opposed by families and residents, who launched a bid to keep the home open.

They started a petition which attracted thousands of signatures as they highlighted the impact on people who had conditions ranging from Huntington’s disease to severe strokes.

They pointed out it was the only facility of its kind in the area but Blackwood said demand had fallen for its use.