Closed Budleigh care home to be sold ‘for the benefit of the elderly’

The recently-closed Shandford care home is to be sold and the proceeds given back to Budleigh Salterton to ‘benefit’ the town’s elderly.

Owl would like to know why go ahead with a sale when the local community clearly wanted to try to make a go of keeping it going?  The Shandford site is on a bus route and close to the town. What do “proceeds of the sale” mean? Will Abbeyfield be able to reimburse themselves for historic maintenance costs, or other fees or charges? If the building is to be sold “at fair valuation” does this mean a sale has already been agreed? How do you assess a “fair valuation” at a time that the economy has been put on hold? And, finally, is “benefit for the elderly” the same as residential care?

Becca Gliddon 

Months of campaigning by the community to keep the care home open came to an end last month when the last resident was moved out of the Station Road site on April 21.

The Abbeyfield Society, who took over the site in 2012 and closed the 26-bed care home in mid-April 2020, saying it was no longer viable to run, said the building would be valued independently and sold in agreement with the Charity Commission.

Proceeds from the sale of the building, and any Shandford legacy fund reserves, will be returned to the original trustees of the home to help elderly people living locally.

A spokeswoman for the Abbeyfield Society confirmed the final resident had left and the care home was now empty.

She said: “The Abbeyfield Society is now working with representatives from the local community to ensure any proceeds from the sale of the property and remaining legacy funds will revert to the original local charity and will be used for the benefit of elderly people in Budleigh Salterton and surrounding villages.

“The volunteer group is now focused on assessing the options for using these funds to best effect.”

She added: “The building will be sold based upon the fair valuation of independent experts and agreed by the Charity Commission.

“The proceeds will then be invested back into the community as outlined previously.

“Abbeyfield is working to manage this process, as per the legal agreement.”

Earlier this year Budleigh Salterton came out in support of keeping the home open with an SOS campaign to Save Our Shandford.

The aim was to set up Friends of Shandford – a Community Interest Company (CIC) – to allow the care home to continue, and its residents to remain.

Despite ‘significant support’ from the community, the plan to form the CIC was unable to progress and the closure went ahead.