09:45AM, Tuesday 17 April 2012
Work on a major new care home has been put back - so that Windsor's Red Cross team can stay in its headquarters as it prepares for its own Olympic challenge.
The team will be providing medical back-up to the rowing and canoeing events being held at Dorney Lake this summer.
The organisation's local headquarters on Helston Lane were due to be flattened this spring - along with the neighbouring Mencap headquarters and a thriving squash club, to make way for the new 130,000 sq ft, £16million facility for 130 elderly residents.
But this week Robin Hughes, head of development for Shelbourne Senior Living which will build the home, said: "We have put the start of the development back because we did not want to disrupt the Red Cross at a time when it is concentrating all its energies on covering the Olympics."
Shelbourne's decision also means a stay of execution for Mencap and the squash club, known as the Windsor Club which are all on the site.
Mr Hughes said: "It will not benefit anyone if the site is empty, so we are letting the organisations already there stay on right up until work begins."
He emphasised that plans for the care home remained firmly in place. The company has also promised to help the Red Cross and Mencap find alternative accommodation.
The extra months' leeway will prove useful to the squash club. Its owner Steve Lewis has been in negotiation with owner of Windsor Football Club Kevin Stott.
Mr Stott hopes to create a new stand, social club and changing rooms with a gym and health club on the current football club site at Stag Meadow. It is hoped the squash club can be part of this.
Mr Lewis said: "Getting our lease extended gives us more time for important discussions. I want to thank the 1,000 members of our club who stayed loyal to us over so many years, even when the club was becoming scruffy and the future was uncertain.
"I hope now that this can be payback time."
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