Esh Construction declares checkmate on Lady Ida Lodge development with celebratory chess event

Residents challenged Esh and Housing 21 to a game of outdoor chess as they settle into life at Lady Ida Lodge.

The first residents of the Lady Ida Lodge extra care scheme in Cookridge, Leeds, have celebrated moving into their new homes by challenging Esh Construction, and housing provider, Housing 21 to an outdoor chess event.

Lady Ida Lodge is a 64-apartment extra care scheme on the site of the former Cookridge Hospital, which promotes independent living in a community setting, with access to 24/7 on-site care and support. Offering one and two-bedroom homes for social rent and shared ownership, residents can enjoy a communal lounge and garden area, as well as a bistro and a hair salon.

A set of giant chess pieces were donated by Esh Construction, who delivered the development, and food was provided by the on-site bistro as residents challenged those responsible for transforming the former Ida Wing to a game on the black and white chequered board.

Paul Watson, Executive Director of Esh Construction, said: “As a contractor, we don’t usually see the end user enjoying and bringing to life what we have built. Lady Ida Lodge is a really special development for us, one which we are very proud to have delivered, and therefore we were keen to meet some of the residents and celebrate this new fantastic new facility alongside our client, Housing 21.”

An expression of healthcare provision in the late Victorian period, the Ida Wing dates back to 1889 when it was built as an addition to the Cookridge Convalescence Hospital on the same site. Among the residents is Audrey, a former nurse at the Ida Wing. She said: “I moved into Lady Ida Lodge after my own home became unsuitable. I feel like I have come back home as I was a nurse at Ida Hospital during the 60’s and 70’s. I’m enjoying living here, everyone is so caring and friendly.”

Lady Ida Lodge was officially handed over in April 2021, and the project has restored the dilapidated Grade II listed former Cookridge Hospital Ida Wing, which had been derelict for over 10 years. A four-storey extension and single-storey link building has brought the building into the 21st century times and back into viable use.

Alan White, Construction Project Manager at Housing 21, said: “A big thank you to Esh Construction for delivering such a quality scheme and for the donation of the giant chess pieces, we’re sure these will provide many hours of enjoyment over the coming years for our residents at Lady Ida Lodge! It’s really fantastic to see how Langtry Langton Architects have married the design of the existing Grade II listed building with the new build element.”

As a contractor, we don’t usually see the end user enjoying and bringing to life what we have built. Lady Ida Lodge is a really special development for us, one which we are very proud to have delivered, and therefore we were keen to meet some of the residents and celebrate this new fantastic new facility alongside our client, Housing 21.”

Paul Watson, Executive Director of Esh Construction
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