A team of three Sheffield based healthcare entrepreneurs, Ray Boulger, Jules Shiel-Boulger and Toria Chan, has secured planning go-ahead for the first stage of a new ‘healthcare hub’ to be built in the city.

Over the next 10 months, STEPS Rehabilitation Ltd will build a state of the art neurological and orthopaedic rehabilitation centre on part of the site of the former Jacobs Manufacturing Company premises off Abbeydale Road South, Sheffield.

The purpose-built development, which will offer 23 beds, a rehabilitation gym, hydrotherapy pool and cafe, will create 60 new, permanent full time equivalent jobs.

The development has been awarded a substantial grant from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), administered by Sheffield City Council, to help create these new employment opportunities.

David Grey, MBE and Chair of the Sheffield City Region SCR Local Enterprise Partnership LEP RGF Investment Panel at the Council said: "STEPS has the potential to become the prime facility for patients requiring the latest neurological rehabilitation care to achieve the highest level of recovery. It will bring more than 60 jobs to the area and regenerate the site, which currently lies derelict"

Ray Boulger, Chairman of STEPS, said: “Our research has shown a strong need for dedicated rehabilitation services for working aged adults who have suffered orthopaedic and neurological trauma. We know that if we harness patients’ individual drive and desire and add our commitment and care, we will achieve optimal results. We can offer patients the tools with which to push their own recovery to its pinnacle”

The development will form the first part of a specialist healthcare and retirement hub which is hoped will include a doctors' surgery, pharmacy, nursing care home, dementia care facilities and sheltered apartments for the over 65s.

The derelict site has been unused for the last 13 years and the agreement for the STEPS project sees the start of a new future for the 3.4 acre site.

Demolition of the remaining steelwork on site has been completed and remedial work, plus access and service work, is expected to be finished in December, with landscaping to follow, to bring the site into use.

Complex legal work was undertaken by Sheffield's Wake Smith for STEPS to secure the green light for its first development in the city. Lisa Davison, director in the commercial property department said: “We guided Steps, as a new developer, through the best, and most effective, way to structure the project using a development vehicle. The work concentrated on putting together all the legal documentation on the land purchase. This involved solving the tax issues for development costs as healthcare companies are exempt from paying VAT”

The architects of the two-storey brick and timber built property were Newcastle Upon Tyne based Alston Murphy Associates Ltd. Iain Murphy, Managing Director, stated that he was delighted and excited to have been chosen by STEPS, ‘’Together we have helped create what will undoubtedly be an outstanding facility. We have been specialist designers for all types of Care Home Provision over the last 25 years and this building allows that experience to fulfil the client’s aspirations.’’

Chartered Accountants, Hawsons, of Glossop Road in Sheffield have been involved with the STEPS project from the early stages and played a key role in creating a comprehensive business plan and supporting financial forecasts, together with assisting in the successful RGF application and an effective operating structure. Scott Sanderson, Partner and Healthcare Specialist at Hawsons, said “We have been delighted to see how this project has developed and look forward to seeing how this state of the art facility, under the guidance of a strong management team, will assist those who need it most within Sheffield and the surrounding areas.”