We’re pleased to announce that plans are now in development for the Trust’s new brain injury hospital, which will replace York House, with the building to be situated at the site of the former Terry’s chocolate factory: The Chocolate Works.

The proposed designs, which are currently in the public consultation phase, set out a plan for a modern, bespoke facility, which will continue to provide the first class rehabilitation we are known for in York for those with an acquired brain injury. The site will have space for 40 beds across four wards and step-down flats, along with a dedicated support and therapy areas, and outdoor facilities, including a rooftop terrace.

This state-of-the-art healthcare facility, will set a new benchmark for personalised rehabilitation, and will see the Trust fulfil a currently unmet need in brain injury rehabilitation. Additionally, with the emphasis we place on rehabilitation in real life scenarios outside the service, our work will really see the people we support, and the service itself, be fully integrated into the local community.

The site itself features a number of grade II listed buildings which used to house the Terry’s chocolate factory. The factory was built in 1926 and closed in 2005. After falling into disrepair, the site was purchased by a developer who have brought the buildings back to their former glory, and opened up the surrounding spaces for community use. The site of York House itself is where the factory’s former warehouse used to stand. The site is also conveniently placed next to York racecourse, and just a mile from York city centre.

Bill Chidgey, Director of Corporate Services, said: “We are excited to share draft plans which would transfer our existing Acquired Brain Injuries hospital to The Chocolate Works. This area has many benefits which would offer a therapeutic environment for our patients whilst remaining within a central location in York. We are proud to be part of York’s heritage of mental health provision, so with our current service required to move from The Retreat, our priority is to remain in York so we can retain our workforce and minimise disruption to our existing service users.”

We are anticipating to begin the build in early 2022, with the build expected to take around one year. We will keep you updated on the progress of these plans as they develop, so watch this space.