Work has started on a new £4m adult care facility that will create more than 100 jobs.
The first phase of development on the site in Waterville Road, North Shields, has begun.
The 40-bed home – to be operated by Lenore Specialist Care – will feature both fully and partially integrated apartments, communal facilities ,sensory therapy rooms, and family meeting rooms.
Lenore’s service manager, Laura Murray-Walton said: “I am delighted to announce the start on site of such an exciting development.
“Lenore is the first care operator in the north east to develop a facility of this type which focuses on providing specialist care to people over the age of 18 who suffer from autism or learning difficulties.
“It has taken us a while to reach this stage as it was important that we got both the design of the buildings and the care services we could offer just right.”
“Having achieved this, we are able to ensure that once we are operational, we are able to meet the needs of our service users by providing bespoke care packages.
“The mixture of residential and day care facilities as well as respite care sets us apart from other operators.
“We are looking forward to opening Phase One and welcoming our first occupants in early 2017.”
Chairman of North Tyneside Council, Coun Gary Bell was the first to put a spade in ground to get this eagerly awaited development underway.
He said: “This is a great moment for both the local community and Lenore as construction work gets underway.
“Lenore has been providing care in the region for some four decades and this further investment shows the company’s commitment, along with its dedication, to providing tailor made care solutions to as many people as possible.
“The scheme will also assist in regeneration in the area by creating jobs during construction and sustainable care related jobs once it is complete.”
Other partners involved are architect Ian Belsham Associates, project manager Building Surveyors Ltd and consulting engineers James Christopher Consulting.
It is anticipated that Phase One will complete by December 2016 and work on Phase Two will commence straight after.