A PIONEERING project for retired people in Cumbria has been launched.

Civic leaders, politicians and business people gathered at Scalesceugh Hall at Carleton, near Carlisle, to see work in progress on 13 luxury retirement homes, and the stately home and gardens which buyers will be able to use.

The houses are being built in the grounds of the restored Edwardian mansion in a multi-million pound visionary new project for retirement living.

The scheme is the culmination of years of research by Dr Anita Herdeiro, an expert in healthcare provision for older people, and her husband Bruno. They are developing luxury retirement villas for people who intend to live in style and comfort, with on-site assistance if needed.

Dr Herdeiro said: "We are offering a new perspective on retirement. People talk about growing old with dignity or with grace. To me that’s all about staying healthy and active in mind and body, keeping connected to friends and family and being part of a vibrant community."

The £3.6 million, privately financed scheme is modelled on projects in Scandinavia countries and Australia but is new to the UK. The houses, in acres of gardens and parkland, are a mix of semi-detached and terraced cottages,all built to eco-friendly specifications, with an emphasis on sustainability, natural daylight and modern convenience.

To find out more about open days, visit www.scalesceughvillas.co.uk