A Swanage care home that closed amid a wave of protest could once again open for the town’s elderly.

County chiefs have officially invited care providers with an interest in taking up the lease at former James Day Care Home to submit tenders.

Despite last year’s shock closure, which led to the rehousing of 22 elderly residents, Dorset County Council promised to ensure the site would continue to provide some kind of social care.

A joint planning group – including representatives of the NHS, county council, Purbeck District Council, Swanage Town Council and various elderly organisations – was quickly formed.

County council adult social care cabinet member Andrew Cattaway, said: “There are various options to consider for the redevelopment/reuse of the James Day site.

“We are working with the local community and other interested parties to establish the viability of both long and short-term commercial leases that would include making the necessary alterations to the property to meet the needs of the future residents.”

Experts at County Hall agree there is a shortage of care homes in the Swanage area – particularly in relation to dementia and nursing care.

The council has looked at a range of proposals – including the development of an integrated health facility with the NHS.

But concerns have been expressed that this may not be the best way forward.