Lymm children win drawing competition

Four local children have seen their drawings of Lymm reproduced on a giant scale on the hoarding of a new development in the village after winning a local competition.

Amber Rowe from Ravenbank Primary School, Isaac Jennings from Oughtrington Primary School, plus Brook Barnes and Harriet White from Statham Primary School were the lucky winners in the recent McGoff Group ‘Images of Lymm’ drawing competition.

The competition invited local children to draw, sketch, paint or colour a picture of their favourite place in Lymm for the chance to win a £100 book token for their school and a bumper pack of colouring supplies for themselves.

Amber, Isaac, Harriet and Brook impressed the judges with their images of Lymm; Amber and Isacc drew very different sketches of the village centre with the Lymm Cross, Harriet drew a black and white graphic of the Lymm Coffee House on Eagle Brow and Brook drew a colourful image of WHAT.

Sarah Sanderson from the McGoff Group commented: “The level and standard of entries was extremely high making it difficult to choose winners, but we felt that the drawings produced by Amber, Isaac, Harriet and Brook clearly represented popular places in Lymm and were worthy winners.  Congratulations to all four of them.  We hope they enjoy using their colouring bundles over the summer and that their schools benefit from some new books for the school library with their book vouchers.”

The children were delighted with their prizes and to see their images enlarged and reproduced on the hoarding at the McGoff Group development on Whitbarrow Road. 

Amber Rowe said: “My favourite place in Lymm is the centre so I tried my best to draw a good picture of the cross and the shops around it.  I never imagined that it would be chosen as one of the winners!” 

Brook Barnes added: “I just love drawing and colouring and am always doing pictures at home.  It’s great to see one of my drawings blown up so big and I’m going to be bringing all my family down to show them.”

The drawing competition took place during Children’s Art Week which runs annually in July and builds further on a creative art theme at the new development which started with young and old coming together to paint a fabulous freestyle fresco on the hoarding in April.

Local nursery creates masterpiece for children’s art week

Proving that age is no barrier to creativity, children at an Altrincham nursery have created a stunning masterpiece in celebration of Children’s Art Week.

The pre-schoolers at Back to the Garden Childcare, the natural child-led day nursery on Sinderland Road in Broadheath, came together in the setting’s beautiful garden for a morning of unstructured free-flowing creative expression that included throwing water balloons filled with paint at a large sheet to create a giant piece of textile artwork that is now hanging proudly in the nursery’s reception area for all to see.

Taking place for three weeks annually, Children’s Art Week encourages children and young people to take part in a range of practical and expressive art sessions with their peers, parents, carers and teachers and also with artists and educators to drive learning, connectivity, inspiration and wellbeing.

Children of all ages can take part in a range of on and offline art-related activities at home, school or cultural venues including galleries and museums.

Art and creative expression underpin the approach to learning and development at Back to Garden Childcare, so it was only natural that the nursery embraced the aims of Children’s Art Week with a range of activities for all to enjoy.

Nursery manager, Ann-Marie Ellison, explains: “Children’s Art Week is always great fun at the nursery with all of our children taking part in a wide range of activities including painting on canvas and giant floor tiles, modelling with clay, drawing on pebbles and free-styling as they wish on the easels in our garden.  We take our lead from the children and approach the different activities organically, encouraging each child to be creative and express themselves in their own way.

“The highlight of this year’s event was definitely the paint throwing activity; we set up a giant white sheet and some mini stepladders and encouraged our toddlers and pre-schoolers to fill water balloons with their choice of paint and throw it at the sheet – they had a blast!”

It is hoped that the engaging art activities at Back to the Garden will be complemented by series of visits to The Whitworth in the city centre enabling the children to explore and experience a real life art gallery for the first time for themselves.

Based in Altrincham and coming soon to Lymm, Back to the Garden is an innovative child-led day nursery that focuses on active learning through outdoor play in a stunning garden setting.  Its philosophy of allowing children to be children to explore their environment, experiment with the outdoor playscape and harness their own imaginations allows for a natural approach where each child develops at their own pace.

Wilmslow care home nears completion with 100 jobs created

Work is continuing at pace at New Care’s £15m Wilmslow Manor Care Centre, located on Handforth Road, with practical completion confirmed for mid September. 

Build is well underway at the new 63 bed care facility with external brickwork and roof tiling now complete, meaning the building is now watertight.  The team of contractors and tradesmen on site are working hard on the interior to ensure the development remains on schedule and edges closer to completion.

When complete, Wilmslow Manor will cater for the aspiring needs of residents in Wilmslow and the surrounding area providing the highest standards of person-centred care.  The facility will offer residential, dementia and 24 hour nursing care in a safe and comfortable environment.  

Part of New Care, Wilmslow Manor will also boost the local economy, creating approximately 100 new jobs across a variety of disciplines, including nurses and carers, hospitality, front of house and maintenance.

Renowned for delivering award-winning care facilities in desirable locations, New Care is delighted the development is taking shape and is on track to open in September.

Dawn Collett, Commissioning Director at New Care, says: “Work on site is progressing well and with just three months to go until practical completion, Wilmslow Manor is starting to look good and come to life.  The care facility has been expertly designed to offer outstanding residential, dementia and 24 hour nursing care in a stylish environment, and we are already starting to recruit the 100-strong team.”

Wilmslow Manor will feature fully furnished, private bedrooms with en suite wet rooms, as well as several stylish communal lounges and dining rooms.  It will also have a spa assisted bathrooms, nail salon and hairdresser.

The impressive care facility will also offer beautifully landscaped gardens and outdoor terraces, plus provide high end hotel-style services that ensure continued quality of life and enjoyment for residents, including a delightful dining experience and a daily programme of well-being activities and events.

Ensuring a welcoming home-from-home environment, Wilmslow Manor will benefit from a high specification finish and will be decorated by a professional interior designer who will create a stunning yet practical space.  

Dawn concludes: “The design, both externally and internally, for Wilmslow Manor is superb and we are very much looking forward to welcoming the first residents, as well as integrating with the local community in the coming months.”

New Care celebrates ice cream month with Mr Whippy

To celebrate National Ice Cream Month, leading care home operator New Care brought smiles to its residents and care teams across the UK with a surprise visit from Mr Whippy!

Covering just over 450 miles in two days, the ice cream van visited all 10 New Care homes across Greater Manchester, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Merseyside and Nottinghamshire serving more than 600 classic Mr Whippy 99s in cones or cartons complete with raspberry sauce and a Cadbury Flake.

Delighting everyone including New Care’s employee teams, the visit from Mr Whippy was a conversation starter, with residents reminiscing about their many fond memories of the ice cream van from days-gone-by.

“We used to listen out for the bell and loved a scoop of vanilla in a cornet, it was such a treat,” said Fred Crossley, “My children would hear the van’s merry tune and run to me for some coppers for their ice cream; they loved the red sauce and a flake,” said Ann Chaloner, and, “It’s lovely, it takes me straight back to my childhood,” added Peggy Steib, all residents at New Care’s 81-bed Grosvenor Manor care home in Chester.

“I remember Mr Whippy with a cone and flake,” said Felice, “They’re still my favourite,” and “I remember running really fast down the road to go and get one, it was always very exciting,” said Enid, both residents at The Hamptons, New Care’s 76-bed care home in Lytham St Annes.

Chairman at New Care, Dominic Kay, said: “Everyone loves Mr Whippy and when we discovered it was National Ice Cream Month, we wanted to surprise our residents and hard working team members with an impromptu treat.  It was wonderful to see so many smiles and to hear all the fond memories from years ago.”

Joint venture established to deliver The Downs Quarter

The McGoff Group and Consensus Property have joined forces to create a new joint venture (JV) to deliver The Downs Quarter development in Altrincham.

Both the McGoff Group and Derek Thompson’s Consensus Property are family-owned Altrincham-based companies, each well established in the North West construction and property sector.  

The Thompsons have been involved in the overall Downs project for many years and are determined to deliver it effectively.  They initially started to assemble the land 19 years ago, building and selling 15 apartments and six commercial units along the site frontage of The Downs while preparing the infrastructure for a further 39 properties to the rear of the site. 

This part of the site was sold to House Crowd in January 2019.  Following the subsequent collapse of the House Crowd development in March 2021, Derek Thompson concluded negotiations to purchase the site back from the administrators late last year, with a £2.5million facility provided by specialist lender Together in under two weeks. 

Committed to rescuing the embattled project located in the heart of the historic market town, the two firms have been working closely together since the start of year with a view to bringing this prestigious development forward.

Nestled away in Altrincham, The Downs Quarter comprises a collection of contemporary one, two and three bedroom apartments as well as stunning three bedroom townhouses and a commercial unit.  There will be a total of 39 new homes built on the site, four of which offer a live/work option.

Sitting at the heart of the McGoff Group, McGoff Construction will complete the design and build of the development, utilising in-house resources from Group companies Panacea Building Systems (drylining) and McGoff Group Facilities Services (M&E, Passive Fire & Joinery). The Group’s residential arm, Villafont, will develop and manage the sales strategy for the development. There is also scope for the Group to undertake the ongoing building and facilities management once complete.

Commenting on the JV, Declan McGoff, Joint Managing Director at the McGoff Group, says: “The Downs Quarter is a superb site in a much sought-after location.  The opportunity to work with Derek and deliver 39 new homes in Altrincham was something we were really keen to do, and we are very much looking forward to getting started on site, showcasing our expertise from various divisions within the Group.”

Derek Thompson adds: “I am delighted to be able to hand the completion of this landmark project over to the McGoff brothers in complete confidence that their professionalism, expertise and deserved reputation for excellence over many years will ensure that this significant development will be completed to the highest standards.”

Manchester’s Beyond Corporate is advising on the build contracts whilst Brabners is dealing with the conveyancing and plot sales.  Together is financing the design and enabling phase of the development, with a view to financing the development as a whole.

Chris Taylor, Head of Portfolio & Risk at the Manchester-based lender, said: “We’re delighted to support the McGoff Group and Consensus Property to revive this ambitious scheme. Consensus Property originally approached us to help them purchase the property out of receivership, something we as a lender specialise in.  

“Reviving what is an eyesore in the middle of Altrincham, The Downs Quarter will play an important part in the residential development of the town centre, and once completed, it will provide a thriving place for people to live and work.” 

Head of Special Projects at McGoff Construction, Brendan Caloe, concludes: “Having now commenced with the detailed design of the scheme, we anticipate the build of the project to take circa 61 weeks.  The marketing of the individual properties will commence imminently, which will undoubtedly generate huge interest in the development.”

The Downs Quarter will launch in September.  For further information or to register your interest, please call Villafont on 0800 118 2884 or visit  

Joint venture to transform Bowdon property

Patrick Properties and the McGoff Group have partnered to create a new joint venture (JV) with plans to transform the former Mercure Hotel in Bowdon.

After more than 12 months working closely with Trafford Council on the design of the proposed mixed used development, including a number of pre-application meetings and local engagement, the JV has submitted a planning application for the brownfield site.

With both Patrick Properties and the McGoff Group based in Altrincham, maintaining the rich heritage of the property forms an integral part of the design, with the historic Hydro building and Hawthorn Lea villas retained.  Marrying old and new, the plans include the demolition of the conjoined buildings and the introduction of six stylish townhouses and six apartments, sympathetic to the setting.

The development will also provide a children’s day nursery with 95 places and a state-of-the-art 53-bed care facility, creating an innovative multi-generational hyperlocal community which brings young and old together.  

A fresh approach, the McGoff Group are close to build completion on its successful first multi-generational development in Lymm, which includes retirement apartments, a nursery and care home.

Bringing together the best of care for all members of the community, this new concept is designed to offer the potential for children and the elderly to spend regular time in each other’s company which has many proven mental and physical health-related benefits including an increased understanding and appreciation of each other’s abilities and limitations, building tolerance and compassion and helping the elderly remain more mentally and physically alert.

Taking on board every possible eventually, and in today’s post-covid world, the care home has been expertly designed with infection control at the forefront of its service, providing wide corridors, large communal areas and break out spaces to facilitate social distancing.  All of the bedrooms boast en suite wet rooms, which means if an outbreak occurs residents can be cared for within their own bedroom, which in turn inherently limits the opportunity for the spread of infection throughout the environment.  This is in contrast to the national picture where many homes are housed in converted properties with smaller corridors and less communal space.  In addition, many such homes often only have a small proportion of their bedrooms served by en suite facilities and subsequently imposes a reliance on communal toilets and bathrooms.

The care home also intends to incorporate sustainable technology to not only make the home more energy efficient in an ear of rising energy prices, but also ensure the best value can be demonstrated when contracting with sustainably conscious bodies such as the NHS, who New Care have worked extensively within various regions around the country during the pandemic.  This service has enabled the rapid discharge of elderly residents from hospital beds into purpose built homely settings, where the highest levels of care can be administered whilst ensuring hospitals had capacity to provide critical care during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Located within the Bowdon Conservation Area, the essence of the development’s design is to re-establish the character and importance of the Hydro and Hawthorn Lea buildings, as well as to significantly increase green space, with private gardens for the townhouses, extensive grounds surrounding the apartments and a secure courtyard garden with the care home.

Sympathetic to the surroundings the design comprises in the main a muted palette of light stone and Bowdon white brick, with a different brick used for the care home to give a unique identity.  

Having acquired the property a few years ago, designing the right development has been a labour of love for Jordan Kennedy, Director at Patrick Properties.  He says: “This project is complex and having discussed possible schemes with several developers over the last few years, forming the JV with the McGoff Group was absolutely the right move.  

“Together we have created a desirable multi-generational development that retains its historic charm yet boasts contemporary character.  We viewed the historic buildings as assets, so the design was developed around those, with additional landscaping essential, all in keeping with the Conservation Area.”

Chis McGoff adds: “For several years this property has been derelict and much of it an eyesore, particularly along Marlborough Road.  Working with Patrick Properties on the design, along with Trafford Council, has been a lengthy but interesting process, and from this we have a devised a pioneering multi-generational development that provides a positive and long-lasting contribution to the local area.

“We are confident the boutique collection of apartments and townhouses will prove hugely popular, and having conducted comprehensive research, we believe there is a real need for a children’s day nursery and care facility, particularly purpose-built environments that are sustainable, cost efficient and specifically designed to allow for the very best care.  

“Furthermore, with two Altrincham based companies coming together, the sustainable credentials of the project are heightened as local labour and supply chains will be utilised for its delivery.

“As specialists in the care and childcare sectors, we are well versed in designing, building, maintaining and operating both day nurseries and care homes, and the Group will be involved in the development after construction is completed, ensuring exemplary services are provided that are benefit to the whole community.”

Jordan Kennedy concludes: “We are hopeful the planning department will be supportive of the proposed mixed-use regeneration project.  The site, which was previously developed, will offer two different types of dwellings, a care home and nursery in an accessible, highly desirable urban location, contributing to the needs of the local population right through from young to old.”

Patrick Properties and the McGoff Group anticipate a decision on the planning application in the coming months.