A £4.3M extra-care housing scheme designed to help older people lead independent lives has been opened.

Town Close, in Stokesley, has 40 one and two-bedroomed apartments and a restaurant. One wing of the building has six apartments designed for use by people suffering from dementia.

Support staff from Broadacres Housing Association are based on site and round- the-clock domiciliary care is provided by staff employed by North Yorkshire County Council.

Extra-care housing aims to help older people to live independently in their own purpose-designed homes with specialist support and care close at hand.

Town Close is part of the larger redevelopment of the former county council Stokesley depot. Other sections of the project include a modern library, rooms available for public hire and a new base for Stokesley Community Care Association.

The scheme has been paid for by Broadacres, the county council and Hambleton District Council.

The Reverend Brian Mayne, chairman of Broadacres, said: "Our long-standing commitment to joint working with both Hambleton and North Yorkshire County Council is further cemented by this scheme.

"In particular, the new extra-care development will provide a superb 21st Century solution for the accommodation and care needs of elderly people in Stokesley and the surrounding area."

Town Close has replaced Springfield House Residential Home. The name for the new development was suggested by Irene Ridley, a member of the local history society. She discovered that the area was known as Town Close, as early as 1837.

The apartments are available to anyone with a local connection to Stokesley and the surrounding parishes.

Former Broadacres' board member and vice-chairman, Derek Parkin, formally opened the scheme last week.

County councillor Chris Metcalfe, executive member for community care services, said: "Extra-care housing is a key part of our strategy to develop modern services for older people which will enable them to live the independent life they prefer."

Town Close is the second extra-care scheme developed by Broadacres and the fourth to open in North Yorkshire.