A groundbreaking ceremony has been held to mark the start of work on a new £6.2 million extra-care housing scheme for older people in Settle.

Guests from Housing 21, North Yorkshire County Council, Craven District Council and Keepmoat gathered at the site to celebrate the start of construction on the 50-apartment scheme at Lower Greenfoot.

Victoria Barclay, regional operations director for Housing 21, said: “We’re delighted to see this exciting development getting under way. Extra-care housing enables older people to enjoy independent living along with 24-hour care and support on site.”

The new development will provide one and two-bedroom apartments for people aged 55 and over. It will also be the new home of Settle Library and the town’s register office and will provide other community facilities including a restaurant, resource room, wellbeing suite and hairdressing salon.

County Coun Clare Wood, executive member for adult social care, said: “This development will be of great benefit to the community and is absolutely at the cutting edge of where social care should be going.”

Craven District Council’s lead member for housing, Coun Richard Foster, said: “This much-needed development will not only provide supported accommodation for people aged 55 or over but will also be a community hub.”

The scheme will be complete around June 2014.