The P.E.I. government expects to get started on replacing one of its two largest long-term care facilities for seniors in the spring.

Last week the province announced it had secured six hectares of the Upton Farm property, in the northwest of Charlottetown, to replace Prince Edward Home, which is currently adjacent to Victoria Park. Doug Currie, who holds the cabinet portfolios for health and for seniors, said plans for the new facility will be drawn up in the fall.

"We're looking to start digging ground probably by early spring of next year," said Currie.

"The focus right now is to look at the type of care that we're looking at implementing in the new facility."

The property is adjacent to the Beechgrove Home. Currie said the two facilities will remain separate, but they do share an administrator so there will be advantages to having them next door to each other.

The new Prince Edward Home should be ready by late fall 2011, and that's when the 140 or so residents could be transferred from the current facility.

In its recent five-year capital budget the province set aside $51 million to replace five aging manors across the Island.