FINISHING touches are being put to a £450,000 specialist therapy centre for the region’s young people with physical disabilities.

Heel and Toe Children’s Charity, which is based at Pelton, near Chester-le-Street, is creating the facility with a hydrotherapy pool at nearby Perkinsville.

The organisation hopes the new centre will help enhance the 12,000 hours of free therapy including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language, conductive education and special educational needs tutoring it currently provides for young people.

Chief executive Douglas Long said: “This is a fantastic step forward for Heel and Toe to increase its capacity to bring further specialist support for the children of the North-East.

“As we receive no government funding, the new Heel and Toe Therapy Centre has only been made possible thanks to those who have fundraised and donated, so we would like to say thank you to every person and organisation which has supported us.

“We would also like to thank BH Planning and Design for assisting us in gaining our planning permission for the site. They provided an extensive and high-quality service which helped make the process seamless.”

The charity launched the Footprints Appeal last year to raise money to convert a derelict building into the only centre in the area to house a hydrotherapy pool.

Bradley Hall director Peter Bartley acquired the building for the charity, and has been a trustee of Heel and Toe for many years.

Planning permission for the state-of-the-art therapy centre was granted by Durham County Council.

Mark Ketley, director at BH Planning and Design, said: “Bradley Hall has a long-standing relationship with Heel and Toe, and as a sister company of the firm it was great to further build on that relationship.

“The charity carries out fantastic work and offers support which wouldn’t be accessible without them. We are proud to be part of a project which will undoubtedly be life changing for its users and their families.”

The therapy centre will offer sessions for families with a therapist, plus therapy rooms, a Gait analysis suit, rebound therapy on a trampoline, a charity shop and accommodation for families who are travelling from outside of the region at reduced rates.

Over 125 children a month have free therapy sessions with the charity and this figure is expected to rise to 250 a month when the new centre is launched.

The centre is to be officially opened by paralympic swimmer Matt Wylie, who has cerebral palsy, on Thursday, November 8, between 10am and 12pm.

Bradley Hall is part of BH Group, a group of property related companies which operate primarily across the North East. BH Group comprises; Bradley Hall Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents, which operates separate commercial, residential and mortgage arms in the region, BH Financial, a finance brokerage service specialising in sourcing and financing cars and business projects, BH Planning and Design, which manages property improvement projects from large to small scale and Anwood Construction.

The Group runs six offices in Alnwick, Morpeth, Gosforth, Newcastle city centre, Durham and Sunderland, with a team of 44 colleagues and offers services including; commercial agency, building surveying, residential agency, land and development, property management, mortgage services, valuations, lease advisory.