Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal will be in Keynsham tomorrow to officially open The Chocolate Quarter.
To mark the grand opening, she will be given a private tour of the site by the chief executive of the St Monica Trust, David Williams, and Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers, Charles Griffiths.
The tour will showcase the facilities in the new £60m development including a cinema, restaurants, health spa, pottery studio and Charterhouse, a state-of-the-art 93-bed care home.
Princess Anne will then join residents and staff for an afternoon tea and unveiling of a plaque. She will be presented with a posy of flowers by a pupil from Somerdale Primary School and a box of B Block’s signature chocolate brownies.
Following the tour, the royal visitor will switch on a unique art installation to mark the start of the grand opening weekend. A vast sun will glow between the iconic red-brick buildings radiating warmth, light and sound for a sensory exploration that the public are invited to discover and walk beneath. Seven metres high and six metres wide, the sun will create an impressive, interactive experience for all the family.
During the weekend, a packed programme of free entertainment will also be available to visitors, including a vintage gramophone DJ, eye-catching rainbow light installations, fun films in the on-site cinema, live music and dance. Activities will run from noon to 8pm on Saturday and noon to 6pm on Sunday, and visitors will have the opportunity to take guided tours of the new community.
The Chocolate Quarter offers luxury retirement living for a new generation of retirees, with communal facilities built not just for the people living there, but also people from Keynsham and the surrounding area. The development is gaining national interest as it combines luxury retirement living with a range of facilities which are open to the public, including a pizzeria, restaurant, health spa, cinema, hairdressers and nail bar.
The Chocolate Quarter also includes office space for local businesses, such as Pukka Herbs, IVC and St Augustine’s Surgery.