A Newton Aycliffe care home which opened last year has been sold as part of a group deal.
St Clare’s Court, built on the site of the former police station on Central Avenue, is in new hands after its owners Helen McArdle Care agreed a multi-million pound deal with London-based group HC-One, which also owns Defoe Court Care Home in Aycliffe.
Helen McArdle Care is currently the largest independent care home operator in the North-East and acquired the Aycliffe site in March 2015.
Demolition of the old constabulary station began and the new care home opened last year.
Helen McArdle Care was initially founded in the 1980s by Helen McArdle with a single home in a former vicarage in Beamish, County Durham.
The family behind the firm sold the firm twice, in 1989 and again in 2004 when it was sold in a £100m deal, with the McArdles keeping the trading name to start up new care homes again a few years after the sales.
The value of the deal with HC-One has not been disclosed, and it’s not known if the trading name has been retained by the family as part of the transaction.
Since the original vicarage home, the firm has built more than 40 new care homes, created employment for more than 4,000 staff and provided elderly care for more than 4,500 residents.
The McArdle group currently runs 19 homes, with one currently under construction, and a home care service and it was the first care provider in the UK to achieve four outstanding gradings from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Helen McArdle said: “Over the past 30 years we have built up one of the most successful care companies in the North East and the UK and I am very proud of what my family and I have achieved.
“My priority has always been to ensure residents, their families and staff continue to receive the care and support they deserve and I believe that HC-One share my commitment to providing the highest quality of care, comfort and service.
“I am confident that the homes will continue to thrive with their new owners who have an impressive track record.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way; this will leave a massive void in my life but I wish everyone all possible success in the future.”
HC-One, headquartered in London, is one of the largest care providers in the UK.
Its executive chairman, Dr Chai Patel, said: “We are delighted to welcome residents and staff to the HC-One family – another major moment in HC-One’s journey from turnaround to transformation.
“Helen McArdle Care is an outstanding regional care provider, and shares HC-One’s values and commitment to providing high quality kind care.
“Over the last five years, HC-One has been on an incredible journey and we are delighted that Helen McArdle has chosen to work with us given our shared commitment to providing the highest quality, person-centred care and our acquisition of Helen McArdle Care is another major moment in the history of HC-One.”
Latest accounts for the McArdle group show revenues rose from £32.2m to £37.4m in the year ended March 31 2016, an increase the firm attributed to the boost in contribution from newer homes as well as the sale of land.