Jeff Stelling lends a hand to Pools owner Raj SIngh as 94-bedroom new Merlin Manor care home opens in Hartlepool

Hartlepool’s newest care home is getting ready to welcome its first residents – almost four years after planning bosses initially gave it the go-ahead.

By Kevin Clark
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 4:09 pm

And home-grown Sky Sports star Jeff Stelling dropped in to do the honours and help group chairman – and Pools owner – Raj Singh to cut the ribbon.

The 94-bedroom Merlin Manor, in Merlin Way, means the group now has more than 500 beds across its various homes.

Raj Singh was delighted to see the project finally completed. The Prestige Group was originally given permission to build the home in August 2018 but the Covid pandemic has caused headaches along the way.

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“It is a long journey when you first start out with a site, then you start building and you see the finished product,” he said.

"The finished product will be when the home is full.”

The firm is due to complete Quality Care Commission registration for Merlin Manor in the new few weeks, after which it will be open to residents.

For Raj Singh, it is the end of a long wait: “I think I came to have a look at this site long before I bought the club,” he said.

Jeff Stelling and Raj Singh cut the ribbon

“I had a look around and the first thing it reminded me of was a mini Ingleby Barwick. We have had a home there for 11 or 12 years and it been really successful, so that was the first thing that attracted me to the site.

“After that, it has taken longer than we would have liked to get it built, to get it finished with Covid and then problems getting materials, etc but we are there now.

“The building side is finished and now the hard bit starts for the operating people to build it up.

“It gives you a big buzz, it definitely gives you a big buzz.”

The dining room

Planning chiefs had previously recommended plans for approval from Prestige Group to create a near identical home on the land in May 2016 but the scheme was withdrawn by the applicant.

The firm acquired the site in 2018 a fresh planning application was submitted.

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One of the bedrooms
A lounge with a mural of Victoria Park