The largest care provider in Cornwall is set to be sold to a housing association in order to prevent closures of residential care homes.

Cornwall Care is to be acquired by Sanctuary Housing in a deal which is currently being taken forward.

Cornwall Care, a registered charity, is the largest provider of care in Cornwall with 16 homes with more than 645 beds and services which help more than 1,000 people.

Details of the takeover by Sanctuary Housing have been revealed as they are due to be discussed by Cornwall Council’s Cabinet at an extraordinary meeting on Monday.

While Cornwall Care is an independent charity the council owns the freehold of 15 of the care homes run by the organisation as well as responsibilities linked to the pension fund for staff who transferred to Cornwall Care from the council in 1995.

The Cabinet will be asked on Monday to sell 14 of the sites which are currently leased from the council to Sanctuary Housing. The council says that in drawing up terms of the acquisition it has “negotiated significant improvements to the current long-standing arrangements”.

In a report to Cabinet it is explained: “Cornwall Care recently took the decision ‘to mothball’ three care homes as part of their recovery plan. The homes that are no longer operating are Mountford-Truro, Trengrouse-Helston and Headlands-Carbis Bay. This resulted in a reduction of 111 beds but enabled Cornwall Care to consolidate staffing capacity across 13 homes.

“This came at a time when both Adult Social Care and the NHS had declared a local Critical Incident. Cornwall Care view this acquisition as a critical way of preventing the need for further closures.”

In a press release Cornwall Council said of the plans: “This acquisition will help secure Cornwall’s care market and provide security for residents living in the homes. In return for the transfer of the sites Sanctuary will lead a programme which will see the development of new and refurbished care homes over a ten-year period.”

The homes affected are Redannick, Truro; Trewartha, Carbis Bay; The Green, Redruth; Woodland, St Austell; Trevern, Falmouth; St Breock, Wadebridge; Headlands, Carbis Bay; St Martin’s, Camborne; Blackwood House, Camborne; Mountford House, Truro; Penberthy House, Newquay; Chyvarhas, Callington; Trevarna, St Austell; and Pengover House, Liskeard.

Sanctuary Housing is one of the largest not-for-profit housing associations across England and Scotland and the second largest not-for-profit care provider. Sanctuary already has a significant presence in Cornwall providing a range of housing options and services for the local NHS employing Cornish residents.

Full details about the acquisition have not been made public due to commercial confidentiality. The Cabinet will hold its extraordinary meeting on Monday (June27) when it will make a final decision.