A CELEBRATED artist officially opened a £5m development for pensioners and the learning disabled today (Wednesday November 14).

Middlesbrough-born artist Mackenzie Thorpe was on hand to launch Levick Court, a new specialist housing and respite centre based at Cambridge Road in the town.

Levick Court is described by the town’s council as ‘state of the art’ and provides 20 two-bedroom apartments for older people as well as a 16-bed residential and respite service for people with learning disabilities. The two units will share some communal facilities, enabling the site to provide an active environment for those who live there.

The project was developed as a partnership between Middlesbrough Council, the Levick Trust and the Homes and Communities Agency, who contributed £1.4m towards facilities for the town’s older population.

Councillor Barry Coppinger, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Social Care, said: “The development of Levick Court has created a facility which not only meets current needs, but is well placed to meet the demands likely to be placed on the service in the future.

“A great deal of work was done with the Charity Commission and other partners to make the project possible, and ensure that the aims of the Levick Trust will continue to benefit the people of Middlesbrough.

“It is without doubt a facility which will stand older people and those with learning disabilities in good stead for many years to come.”