Regeneration of a Community | Burnholme Health and Wellbeing Hub

Working collaboratively to deliver improved services for the local community in Burnholme, York, through the development of a new health and wellbeing hub.

Region: North East, Yorkshire and Humber, East Midlands 
Theme: Health and social care (in OPE), Integrated public services, Regeneration

The challenge

Burnholme, a community with a high proportion of students and HMO’s, has significant pockets of deprivation and a lack of community provision. Existing library and leisure facilities are inadequate and do not meet modern day requirements. There is also a significant need to reduce pressures on GP services and unplanned admissions. To overcome some of these challenges, the City of York partnership put together plans for a health and wellbeing hub which puts the needs of the community at its heart.

The story

In 2014, the Burnholme Community College closed, leaving a site with great potential to expand and improve services for residents, giving them somewhere to go and be proud of while also addressing some of the challenges they faced. One Public Estate (OPE) awarded £60,000 funding for programme management, as well as £40,000 for costs such as design and planning advice, which has been used to develop a the multi-use Burnholme Health and Wellbeing Hub.

“The Centre @ Burnholme”

The council has invested £4.5m in this modern community facility which has retained, refurbished and extended the original college hall, opening up opportunities from June 2018 for a wide range of community facilities such as York Learning (adult education), United Response (activities for adults with disabilities) and Healthwatch. The pre-existing community services; church, childcare nursery, after school club and charitable organisation continued to be supported to deliver their services throughout the move to their new facilities.

York Burnholme Centre photo

As well as being the home to the Explore Library Learning Centre, a range of spaces are available for rental to the community and voluntary sector, including the refurbished hall, which now has flexible audio visual equipment for family and community events, worship, conferences and performance, as well as a café, making this a real community venue.  Students, many of whom have complex learning and/or physical disabilities attend regularly from the neighbouring school.

Sports facilities

A £2.45m transformation plan is underway, which will result in the existing facilities being refurbished and extended to include new exercise studios and changing facilities. These facilities will be managed by Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), with an agreement to protect the rights for local schools to use the all-weather pitch, grass pitches and indoor spaces. 

York map graphic

Care home

A private sector care home operator was procured with the requirement that, when complete, 25 beds would be available to Council nomination. The 80 bed home, which will provide nursing and residential care for people living with dementia, will be operational in late 2020.  This forms part of the council’s Older Person Accommodation programme which is delivering 900 high-quality beds.


To the rear of the site, more than 70 homes, 40% affordable, are planned with the council as the developer. Site surveys are being undertaken and architectural services procured with a view to submitting a planning application before the end of 2019 with construction starting in 2020. The homes, a mix of social rent and shared ownership, will offer opportunities for young people to start on the housing ladder, as well as providing adaptable and accessible homes to meet a wide range of needs of residents, including older people looking to downsize. 

Medical centre

The site also provides for the delivery of health complimentary community based services. OPE funding has facilitated the medical centre development of a health proposition by funding a variety of surveys of the site in readiness for the design development to proceed.

With a wide range of sports and community facilities in operation, and with affordable housing and a new care home to come, the former Burnholme Community College site is establishing itself as a place at the heart of the community which offers something for everyone.

The outcomes

The project is forecast to deliver the following outcomes:

  • £500,000 Capital Receipt for the Care Home
  • 70+ housing units (including affordable homes)
  • sports centre and outdoor pitches available to local teams and organisations, fully managed at no revenue cost to the council
  • reduction in operating costs for library services
  • 80 additional residential care bed spaces.

The creation of the hub will also enable:

  • co-location of services to improve access for residents
  • stronger collaboration between public, private and voluntary sectors who share the same vision
  • health benefits to health centre attendees via social prescribing and exercise on prescription
  • benefits of co-location to residents of the care home, who can access social and physical activities, as well as ease of attendance for health services.

For further information please contact our Regional Programme Managers for North East, Yorkshire and Humber, East Midlands.