Tony, 71, and friends show young entrepreneurs the way

Tony Millington

Older residents at Bradeley Village, Stoke-on-Trent, are proving you are never too old to start in business.

Staffordshire Housing Association asked apartment owners and tenants to come out of retirement and run the village shop, café and other facilities as a business.

And the scheme has been a great success, clocking up regular profits to spend on activities and trips out from the older persons’ village in the north of Stoke-on-Trent.

Tony Millington, aged 71, is chairman of the Bradeley Village Company Board of Directors.

“We run the shop, bar, coffee lounge and guest rooms and we make a profit year on year,” said Tony.

“The money is then spent on facilities for Bradeley Village and special events with residents applying for grants to get support for their projects.”

The list of projects benefiting from the scheme is extensive – trips to the seaside, a Victory in Japan Day celebration, gardening equipment and even a £1,000 treadmill are just a handful of the items that have been funded with profits from the company.

Former Michelin stacker driver, Tony said: “I really enjoy being involved. I started off working in the shop and also help in the bar from time to time.”

This led to Tony applying to join the six strong residents’ board of directors.

“Everything is run in line with a proper company. We have a board meeting every month and the accounts are properly kept and audited,” added Tony.

Bradeley Village is one of four older people’s villages developed in the Stoke-on-Trent area by Staffordshire Housing Associations. The accommodation allows people to live independent lives behind their own front doors but has on site facilities and communal lounges, dining rooms, shops and leisure facilities for residents who want to use them.

Housing Association Chief Executive, Diane Lea, said: “The residents at Bradeley Village take great pride in the fact that they run their own facilities. They may be a little older than some entrepreneurs but they continue to bring in a profit year after year which is ploughed back in to trips and treats.”

For further information contact Sandra Barber on 01782 744533.

The photograph shows Tony Millington in the shop at Bradeley Village, Stoke-on-Trent.
Notes to Editors:
SHA is a housing association committed to building a better future for local communities. Established in 1984, SHA provide a huge range of tenant services including maintenance, tenancy support, estate management and gardening, as well as essential guidance on income management, money advice and benefits assessments. They are committed to improving live in Staffordshire through regeneration, supported housing, older people’s villages, key worker homes and a rolling programme of home improvements. Their subsidiary company, Blue Mountain Housing Association, also work closely with refugee and local BME communities to provide essential support with healthcare, education, training and employment as well as access to quality housing.