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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Legal & General joins the retirement housing sector

Legal & General has announced its development of Inspired Villages Group, an operator of later living accommodation which formed out of English Care Villages.

The English Care Villages team has agreed to unite with L&G, following a joint investment with Places for People totalling around £40 million.

Inspired Villages aims to meet the demographic’s healthcare and affordable living needs while keeping consistent with L&G’s growth method. The operator is set to create around 3,000 new quality homes over the next five years.

Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General, said: “Despite the fact that the UK is a great place to invest, thirty years of chronic underinvestment have led to poor productivity, inadequate real wage growth, market failures and low economic growth. Later living is a classic example of underinvestment; it has now been added to Legal & General’s £15b UK direct investment programme.”

Established in 2009, English Care Villages has a history of working with Anchor Trust in developing Bishopstoke and Yateley in Hampshire, applying experience from Richmond Villages. Inspired Villages creates an environment and lifestyle choice for people who possess existing homes that no longer suit their needs. The programme currently has two schemes in Warwick and Chelsea, constituting to over 300 homes and a gross development value (GDV) of around £110m. This investment has created a safe and secure village environment in which residents can be social and celebrate later life.

Chairman of Inspired Villages, Keith Cockell, pledged to build homes and a lifestyle that enables baby boomers to age with grace. “There is no household in the UK that isn’t faced with the challenges of an ageing family member, as more of the population are celebrating their 70th birthday than at any time in our history.”

“By design we can create great places for people to live. Our master planning will echo the environment found in our very best communities, where everybody is connected by their proximity to one another. The people who live in and visit our villages, will make them great places for everyone.”

Inspired Villages will acquire several sites per year with L&G’s long term financial backing and aspires to create vibrant villages within the UK’s towns and cities where people desire to live.

Phil Bayliss, Head of Later Living at L&G Capital, said: “It is widely recognised that the UK is underprepared to support its ageing population. Over 3 million people over 65 are looking to downsize and only 7,000 housing with care properties are being built each year.”

“The UK suffers from a chronic undersupply of age-specific housing as well as spiralling health and social care spend. We believe our long-term capital can deliver significant housing, health and wellbeing benefits for those in later life.”

He added: “Through our investment in Inspired Villages, we are partnering with a best in class management team who have the track record of delivery and a like-minded long-term vision to create sustainable communities that support people through their later life. Our homes will provide our customers with an opportunity to use equity locked up on houses that are too big to manage to improve their quality of life and remain in their communities.”

A high percentage of retirees move less than five miles from their home when they right-size, having access to family, friends and facilities. Each village offers a wide variety of homes that will suit different lifestyles. These single floor homes will start from £250,000. The hub of the village is set around the village square with landscaped gardens, gym, restaurants, social activities and access to appropriate care.

Jamie Bunce, CEO of Inspired Villages, commented: “With Legal and General’s investment in Inspired Villages we will create communities across the whole of the UK where people want to live. We will reinforce the family ethos with support and services provided as required. An Inspired Village is more than just bricks and mortar, we are creating positive environments where people can remain socially engaged, comfortable, safe and secure while they enjoy later life.”

“Our well qualified, highly motivated operational and development teams are very excited about what can be achieved through Inspired Villages with Legal & General’s support. We can truly make a difference to so many people’s lives in ensuring superbly designed living environments are created across the UK.”

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