A DERELICT former naval bakery on Portland is being turned into the new head office for Dorset-based care provider AginCare following a multi-million pound investment.
Nearly £2million will be spent by the company to turn the Admiralty Buildings in Castletown into its new headquarters.
Around 50 people will be based at the new multi-purpose headquarters, 10 of which will be new positions created by the company following the move.
Work is currently underway at the building, which will be renamed AginCare House, with the new offices scheduled to be open by the end of July this year.
Founded in 1986, AginCare now employs around 2,500 people nationally and Derek Luckhurst, owner and founder of the company, said he always wanted to keep the company’s head office in Weymouth and Portland.
Derek Luckhurst, owner and founder of AginCare, said: “Because we are growing as rapidly as we are, we need to make the company more efficient which this building and development will allow us to.
“Raina Summerson, the chief executive of the group, and I have been looking for around 12 months for suitable offices. What we didn’t want was an office in an industrial estate, the work environment is very important to us.
“We were always going to stay in Weymouth and Portland because of my family roots here. My father, grandfather and uncle all worked at the naval base down the road and would have gone past this building every day.
“I wanted to give something back to the local community by providing local jobs for local people.
“All of the contractors working on the development are local, so we have already started in that respect, and we also wanted to help regenerate the Castletown area of Portland.
“Castletown is a conservation area, so we have worked closely with the Weymouth and Portland planning department, who are as keen as we are to see Castletown regenerated.”
The investment will see the company centralise its head office operation, bringing together all of its administrative roles to the new base. It will also act as the company’s main training base, with current and new carers trained in a brand new, state-of-the-art training room.
The company specialises in four areas within the care industry: Home Cuisine, Home Care, Live-in Care and Care Homes, and chief executive Raina Summerson sees the investment as a way of securing the future of the company and creating more jobs for local people.
Ms Summerson said: “The formula we have got is working. Because AginCare is independently owned and there isn’t any middle-management, we can react very, very quickly to changes both demographically and in government legislation.
“In the last three months we have secured £4million worth of new contracts. There were some big wins for us, they are quite innovative contracts as well.
“I don't want people to think we are investing all this money just so we have nice new offices. This development is all about sustainable, longer term business, to secure jobs but to also create new ones.