UNSUCCESSFUL attempts to secure suitable office accommodation in Forfar have forced the Balhousie Care Group to relocate to Perth, writes Janet Thomson.
The leading care provider has announced it is to relocate its head office within the next few months as the group prepares for continued expansion across Scotland.
Their modern new premises and training facilities are located at the city’s Broxden Business Park, just off the Broxden roundabout, providing good transport links with easy access to existing and new care homes. Staff have been invited to suggest names for the new headquarters.
Chairman Tony Banks bought its first care home, Balhousie Lisden in Kirriemuir, in 1991 and the group was based there before moving into its current headquarters on Little Causeway, Forfar, in June 2006.
The company now cares for more than 800 residents in 22 homes, with plans for continued major expansion, including a move into new parts of Scotland and a near-doubling of beds to 1,400 in 2012.
It has already had to move some staff into a second head office building in Forfar and a search for fit-for purpose premises in the town was unsuccessful.
The group is one of the area’s largest employers, with more than 800 staff. Around 27 employees, including the senior management team, will relocate to the new head office in Perth, with a further 40 people expected to be recruited over the next five years.
Tony said: “The decision to leave Forfar was not an easy one but Balhousie Care Group has now grown to such a size that we had to look for new premises that could accommodate all of our head office staff under one roof, as well as giving us space to grow further. Balhousie Care Group would not be the company it is today if it wasn’t for the dedication and hard work of our staff, who remain loyal and committed as we move forward into our new home.
“We looked locally but there were no suitable premises so we decided that Perth would be the ideal central location for our planned expansion into central Scotland, as well as offering excellent transport links.
“The new office allows us to merge the two head offices into a single headquarters that incorporates bespoke training facilities for our staff, and reflects the profile and size of Balhousie Care Group, as the largest independent operator of care homes in the country. We will be sad to bid farewell to the town and people of Forfar, which has been home to Balhousie Care Group for a number of years, but the move signals the start of even bigger things for us as a company.”
New homes have opened recently in Coupar Angus and Dundee, with major extensions built at Rumbling Bridge and Auchterarder. Other current projects include new homes being built in Dundee, Arbroath and Huntly.
The group has also lodged ambitious plans to create a £14million urban care community on the banks of the River Tay in Perth, which include two care homes, assisted care apartments and a small number of residential properties.