Firefighters have been using St George's Court in Sheerness for training
An empty housing complex has been put to good use before it is transformed in a £2.5m refit.
Sheppey firefighters have been using St George’s Court in St George’s Avenue, Sheerness, for training.
The site is owned by housing association AmicusHorizon, which has allowed crews to use the grounds to practise for the last six months.
They have been testing breathing equipment as well as simulating real life emergencies.
This has now come to an end as work started last week to convert the units into 28 one and two bedroom flats for older people.
At the moment there are four separate blocks in a square and once the work is finished, these will all be linked together with ramps so all the occupants will have external access to their own front doors.
Some of the units will be refurbished with cladding and there will also be some new special wheelchair-adapted properties built and new refuse stores.
The properties were used for elderly people before, but it was decided it was no longer fit for purpose, so plans were put in for the redevelopment.
All the residents who were living there were moved out in March and put into other housing schemes and an AmicusHorizon spokesman said they have all been given the option to move back in once the work is complete.
Project manager Lisa McCarrick said: “We’re installing lifts to the first floor and a new external walkway to provide residents with level access to their homes.
“We’ll also provide mobility scooter storage with charging points and a re-landscaped secure courtyard garden area for residents to enjoy.”
Sheppey green watch manager Andy Bridger-Smart said: “We’re extremely grateful to AmicusHorizon for allowing us to use the site.”
The project is being part-funded by the Homes and Communities Agency and work is expected to be complete by December next year.