Harrison Drury advises on care home buyout

A registered nurse from the Ribble Valley has realised her dream of running her own care home after purchasing a Lancashire care business.

Ashlands Nursing Home, Rossendale, which provides care for 19 residents and has 25 staff, has been acquired by Melissa O’ Rourke and her husband Jason, following the imminent retirement of former owners Anna Mai and Arthur Marriott.

Melissa, 35, has worked in the care sector since leaving school, and recently spent two years as nurse manager at The Manor House nursing home, Chatburn. Jason, 43, a former joiner and surveyor, will look after the financial and administration side of the home.

The pair, who live in Sawley, have been learning the ropes at Ashlands since January and Anna Mai and Arthur will continue working with them to ensure a smooth transition now that the ownership baton has officially been handed over.

Melissa, a mother of three, said: “Owning and running my own care home is something I’ve wanted to do from an early age. I was lucky enough to meet Anna Mai and Arthur on a nursing course and after getting to know them they raised the idea of me taking over at Ashlands when they retired. I feel privileged to be taking over from two wonderful people and will strive to maintain the excellent standards for which they have made Ashlands renowned.”

Melissa got her first taste of caring for older people growing up when she used to visit a local care home to talk to residents. After leaving school she trained to be a nurse and worked for many years at Clitheroe Health Centre, also caring for her own parents, the late Anne and Albert Marsden, when they became ill with cancer.

“I have always had a natural inclination to care for people,” added Melissa who attended Bowland High School, Grindleton. “I cared for my own mum and dad when they were ill, so I know and understand what that feels like for family members. It’s made me want to treat everyone how I wanted my own mum and dad to be cared for when they were ill.

“The care sector often makes headlines for the wrong reasons, but many people never hear about the excellent job done by the vast majority of care professionals.”

Melissa and Jason were advised on the purchase of the business by Simon England from the property team at Harrison Drury solicitors in Preston.

Simon England, associate solicitor at Harrison Drury, said: “I’ve known Melissa and Jason for many years and I’m delighted for them. Melissa has dedicated her career to nursing and knows the care sector inside out. They are meticulous in what they do and I have no doubt that they will ensure Ashlands continues to be successful for many years to come.”

The detached, stone-built, Grade II listed property, situated off Turnpike, Rossendale, was built in the 19th century as a residence for local woollen manufacturer Samuel Ashworth Lord.

Over the years it has been owned by a number of other local captains of industry and businessmen, before being converted into a residential home for the elderly in the 1980s. The historic property was purchased by Anna Mai and Arthur Marriott in 1993 who re-registered the home to provide full nursing care following sensitive internal structural changes and refurbishment.