Legal & General has announced the acquisition of its first later living development in the capital, in Uxbridge, within the borough of Hillingdon. The site will be developed and operated by Guild Living, Legal & General’s specialist urban later living business.
Guild Living will develop the Uxbridge town centre site to create new later living apartments alongside inter-generational facilities that will be open to the whole community. The development will also offer additional tailored care suites that aim to support local NHS services by helping people who leave hospital to staircase back to independent living.
According to the 2011 Census, a third of the Hillingdon’s population – more than 78,000 people – are aged 50 or over. Despite being considered a ‘young’ city, London as a whole contains 1.1m over-65s, according to Age UK. This figure is projected to increase by 86% in the next 30 years, underlining the need for more purpose-built housing for older people.
In order to address the UK’s chronic undersupply of age specific accommodation, Legal & General has established two specialist businesses, Inspired Villages and Guild Living, to meet the changing needs of older generations. The combined GDV of these businesses exceeds £2.8bn.
Retirement villages have also been shown to offer significant health benefits to residents, including a 50 percent decrease in GP visits and an 80 percent decrease in hospital stays.
Guild Living offers a new model of housing for those in later life, focused on delivering safe and secure communities in urban centres that offer a flexible provision of care to meet individual needs. Community facilities, such as cafes and children’s nurseries, will be central to each scheme, bringing different generations together and ensuring each project becomes a local hub rather than a gated community.
Eugene Marchese, co-founder and director at Guild Living, said: “There is a clear and growing need for age-appropriate housing both in London and across the UK. Our ambition is to create communities that are safe and secure so local people can live and maintain their local links while protecting their independence. We want to de-stigmatise this market by providing a different kind of product that uses academic research to tailor its wellbeing and care offering. Uxbridge is a thriving town and an amazing local community, and we are excited to work with the Council and the community to bring forward proposals that add to the local area.”
Phil Bayliss, CEO of Later Living at Legal & General, said: “Legal & General’s long-term investment is supporting Guild Living in revolutionising later living in an urban setting. It has never been more important to tackle social isolation and deliver housing where people really want to live, while also finding new ways to revitalise our high streets. Having acquired four sites in less than a year, the growth trajectory of the Guild Living business is phenomenal. This latest scheme in London is a perfect example. London is often seen as a young city, but actually has the fastest growing over-50s population. We have to be prepared to meet these changing dynamics.”