Tudor Grange House set for renaissance as retirement living

Leading healthcare investor and developer Octopus Healthcare is planning a sensitive restoration of the Victorian, Grade II* listed, Tudor Grange House as an over 55’s Retirement Living scheme.

Built in 1887, Tudor Grange House was formerly the family home of Sir Alfred Bird of Birds Custard fame. The red brick house boasts stunning wood panelling, ornamental ceilings and tapestry works, which led to the building being Grade II* listed in 2008. However, parts of the property need complete refurbishment to bring it back into use.

Octopus Healthcare is proposing an exclusive refurbishment of Tudor Grange House to provide 12 luxurious one and two bed apartments, whose residents will be able to enjoy generous communal facilities including lounges, a café, therapy and beauty facilities together with a games room and sympathetically landscaped grounds.

In addition to the extensive renovation of the house itself, the proposals also include the redevelopment of the former car park and caretaker’s house to provide a new 64-bed care home and 37 Assisted Living units, while the development will enable the college to enhance its teaching facilities and provide additional learning opportunities for students.

Octopus Healthcare is keen to consult with the local community and will be holding a drop-in public consultation and exhibition at Solihull College & University Centre’s Blossomfield Campus on Thursday 9th November between 3.30 and 7.30pm.

Open to all local residents, businesses and stakeholders, this event will provide an opportunity for visitors to view the proposals, talk to the development team and comment on the plans ahead of proposals being finalised before submitting a planning application.

Ashley Heath, Healthcare Property Director at Octopus, said:

“We are extremely excited about having the opportunity to bring these magnificent rooms back to their former glory.  With over 20% of Solihull’s population aged over 65, this development would help meet a local, and growing housing need in the area and are specifically designed to meet the needs of people in later life whilst encouraging independent living.

Furthermore, increasing the housing choice for residents in later life also helps to release family-sized housing back into local markets, aiding Solihull Borough Council in meeting its required housing target. We are keen to work with the local community and invite anyone interested in our proposals to come along to the public exhibition.”

Students of Solihull College & University Centre are set to reap significant benefits from improved educational and hands on work experience facilitated through the renaissance of Tudor Grange House. These will extend to courses covering horticulture, nursing, business, finance, events management, hospitality, marketing and sales.

John Callaghan, Principal of the College, said:

“We are delighted to be working with Octopus to secure valuable new opportunities for our students and are absolutely thrilled that the legacy of Tudor Grange House will be protected by these proposals.  We have entered into a long term collaboration agreement with Octopus Healthcare to bring forward the restoration and development.”

The Public Consultation event will be held at:
Venue: Solihull College & University Centre’s Blossomfield Campus
Date: Thursday 9th November
Time: 3.30 pm to 7.30 pm

Investment and jobs boost for city of York

Plans for a modern new care home on the site of the former Fordlands care home in Fulford have been amended after the developers listened to feedback from the Council, to ensure it will be a real asset for York, on this key brownfield site.

Octopus Healthcare submitted plans for a 64 bed care home to replace the vacant former care home on the site in August and has recently amended its plans to ensure it is in keeping with its surroundings.

The development represents a £10 million investment in the City and will create 64 full and part time jobs.

The height and roofline has been lowered by up to 1.2m in key places, to make it more sympathetic to its environment, in response to comments by Council Officers.

The proposals are in light of the pressing need for more care home beds in the City.  In an updated report that went to the Council’s Executive Committee last month (28th September), it was confirmed that there is an estimated shortfall of 663 residential and extra care places for over 75’s by 2020 and a 1,490 shortfall by 2030.

According to a recent Local Government Association report called ‘Housing Our Ageing population’, it also estimated that throughout the country, the number of people aged over 65 is forecast to rise over the next decade, from the current 11.7 million people, to 14.3 million by 2025, a 22 per cent rise.

Lyth Watson, Director of Development for Octopus Healthcare commented:

“We believe that these plans will help to meet some of the shortfall in places identified by the Council.  Our proposals replace a long-term vacant care home, that was no longer fit for purpose, with a modern care facility to help meet the complex care needs of older people in the City.  Through the planning process we have listened to feedback and amended the plans to ensure it fits in with the local environment and to ensure it will be a real asset for York, on this key brownfield site.”

The proposals will diversify the type of care accommodation that exists in the local area and will provide independent and private rooms of varying sizes with en-suite facilities. Additional shared facilities will be available for residents, such as dining rooms, lounges, activity rooms, gardens, hairdressers and a residents and visitors café.

A decision is expected on the planning application in November.  If approved, the new care home could be open by mid-2019.

Partnering for the Future of General Practice in Lewisham

Octopus Healthcare, GP Property Ltd (GPP) and General Practice Investment Corporation (GPI) are delighted to support The Lewisham Care Partnership in its objectives for excellent healthcare provision and GP services in the Borough of Lewisham now and into the future.

The Lewisham Care Partnership (TLCP) was established in June 2017 and sees five primary care partnerships coming together to serve some 58,000 patients across the Borough. With a focus on future proofing patient care for residents in Blackheath, Brockley, Honor Oak, Ladywell, Lee, Lewisham Central, Rushey Green, and St John’s, the new partnership is set to provide a model for other primary care providers.

As property partners to TLCP, Octopus Healthcare, GPP and GPI will work together to develop modern bespoke premises to enhance the range and type of healthcare delivered by TLCP. The role of Octopus Healthcare, GPP and GPI is both for development and investment. The partnership with TLCP has already facilitated a sale to GPP and leaseback of Morden Hill Surgery to GPP, allowing equity release to property owning partners. The sale and leaseback also provides for the eventual replacement of Morden Hill with modern fit for purpose premises, which will enable a much greater variety of services for patients.

Octopus Healthcare and GPP will work with TLCP to devise an Estate Strategy to facilitate the development of new modern premises to replace those that are nearing the end of their useful working period. The new developments will respond to the agenda for greater services to be delivered in primary care, making those services more accessible to patients in primary care rather than having to make separate trips to hospital.

Octopus Healthcare, GPP and GPI believe it is vital to partner with new GP led organisations like TLCP in order to make primary care property truly responsive to changes in commissioning and to realise the desire for more services and greater access to services in primary care.

Colin Stears, Managing Partner of The Lewisham Care Partnership, says:

“We believe that to ensure that primary care providers can meet patient expectations, deliver high quality healthcare services, and implement the GP Forward View, investment must be made in property. Our partnership with Octopus Healthcare, GPP and GPI means we are able to facilitate a sustainable programme of development of primary care properties in the Borough of Lewisham.

By working with our member practices, either by taking on existing premises to ensure they get the investment they need or by developing new purpose built sites, our partnership with Octopus Healthcare will help The Lewisham Care Partnership deliver high quality primary care into the future.”

Tim Meggitt of Octopus Healthcare says:

“With our support and investment The Lewisham Care Partnership will be able to achieve its aims of working at scale, retaining GPs that want to release equity, and successfully recruiting new GP partners to member practices.

Maintaining and improving primary care property is a challenge for many GP practices and can be a significant barrier to meeting patient demand and delivering better healthcare services. By bringing in private sector investment, member practices that want to release equity will be able to become more agile and flexible, as well as benefiting from improved facilities.”

Calling all real estate directors – public, private and in-between!

If you thought that healthcare property is a bit niche, think again. Healthcare, like student accommodation 15+ years ago is booming. But if you think that you need specialist expertise to get into this market; you do.

Fortunately the good news is there are experts out there who can support you, reducing the risk that you might not get the most out of the opportunity and see the maximum return for your efforts. It’s also an area that’s becoming increasingly mainstream as other landowners look to healthcare as a way to drive revenue from their assets.

What’s driving the healthcare property market?

Put simply the healthcare property market is being driven by an ageing population and increasing demand for healthcare services. We’re living for longer and need a variety of support throughout our old age. Typically as we get older we may need the services of our GP and healthcare professionals more often; we may decide that we need a level of assisted living – ranging from retirement housing to care homes; and for those with disabilities and long term health needs, more specialist housing is in demand.

As a result the healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing markets, with high demand for property and healthcare premises for both public and private sector providers.

Here’s a snapshot of the opportunity:

  • The demographic bubble is starting to hit. The numbers of people over 65 years are expected to increase by 12% between 2015 and 2020. The numbers aged over 85 by 18%, and the number of centurions by 40%! While the general population is only expected to increase by 3% overall*
  • The UK’s over 65s have money to spare – Knight Frank estimates that the over 60s in England alone have £1,200bn in unmortgaged housing wealth. They’re increasingly looking to invest this in retirement properties including premium retirement apartments with luxury facilities. As such retirement housing can achieve high sales rates per square foot, and be highly desirable
  • The government wants more specialist housing for people with disabilities and long term health needs, as this delivers per capital financial benefits by reducing the use of public services

So what are your options if you fancy investigating the healthcare sector further? How can you maximise the value of your real estate? Should you sell your site for a quick return or drive long term value from it through income?

Both options are viable, it’s just a question of getting the support needed to ensure you maximise the opportunity.

For example, do you know what the long term potential is for your site? Should you just sell the land, or get planning for a scheme? If the latter, could healthcare drive more value from the site than just a purely residential scheme?

Healthcare might unlock additional GDV for your site, deliver the council’s targets for certain uses, and do so in a really imaginative, value enhancing way. Who’d want a council planning team to think they were heroes? Ridiculous!

To do this you will need the following:

  1. Data analysis – you need to obtain data on the population, predications for long term health needs, as well as understanding the income levels you can expect from a scheme. For example, a retirement apartment might sell for £800K in one city, £200K in another
  2. Planning expertise – what type of scheme is going to maximise the value of the site and be a win-win with the local planning authorities? You will need to tick a lot of boxes to ensure everyone gets what they need
  3. Development skills – this is where healthcare becomes a bit more niche. You may have experience with say a residential development, but it would be great if you had operational models in the healthcare sector so you drive the investment value of your site

Don’t quite have this expertise? Here’s where we fit in

Octopus Healthcare works with landowners to put all of the above together. As a specialist healthcare funder-developer and operator we work with public and private sector, professional services – and lucky landowners – investing in their sites to meet the demand for healthcare services.

This may involve a straight forward acquisition of the site, or a joint venture that allows the landowner to maximise the long term value of their site through income. Having the support and experience of a 45+ strong team, including a £1.4bn property portfolio, means that you don’t have to have that ‘niche’ experience that makes healthcare a difficult market to get into.

If this sounds interesting and you would like to explore the opportunity in more detail, please get in touch. Call me on +44 (0)20 7776 7973 or email shay.ramalingam@octopusinvestments.com

* Parliament.co.uk, Political challenges relating to an aging population: www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/key-issues-parliament-2015/social-change/ageing-population

Completion of first primary care centre in Ireland for Octopus Healthcare

The community of Mullingar are on the countdown to the official opening of their new €13 million primary care centre after the building reached practical completion this month. The completion of this 5,000m2 building is the first of several new healthcare properties across Ireland for the Octopus Healthcare team, investment adviser to the MedicX Fund.

Developed by Ireland based Feasible Developments and funded by the leading primary care property investor, the MedicX Fund, the new primary care centre will be let to the Health Service Executive, TUSLA (Child & Family Agency), two long established local GP practices and a local pharmacist. In addition to the GP practices, the state of the art building will deliver a wide range of services to the local population and benefit from a community café. The full primary care services will be provided in the primary care centre, these include: Public Health Nursing, Physio Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech & Language Therapy, Dental Services & Mental Health Services.

Located near to the Midland Regional Hospital and due to welcome patients early February, access to the new health centre will provide an enhanced healthcare experience for patients and staff, enabling a joined-up approach to the healthcare provision in an impressive new facility. Rural populations across Ireland have increased in the last 10 years with a marked shift from towns and cities. Mullingar has seen a 6.13% increase in residents since 2006, resulting in over 20,000 potential patients within 5 kilometres of the new centre.

Tim Meggitt, Director at Octopus Healthcare commented:

“This exemplar facility is at the forefront of primary care service provision for Ireland. Both the property and the range of service providers is entirely designed to support the growing needs of the community and the wider healthcare system and we look forward to working with our partners across Ireland and the Health Service Executive over the coming years to deliver more best-in-class healthcare centres”.

Pat Nolan, Director at Feasible Developments commented:

“The finished building looks superb and is our most ambitious to date with regards to the build complexities and nature of the construction works. In partnership with the HSE and GPs, the new building responds perfectly to the core strategy of the HSE to bring centres providing a wide range of services to the community driven by general practice. This is a provision that local people need and we look forward to hearing feedback from patients on their new centre. Over 100 people were involved in the construction and an equal number of healthcare professionals (from the public and private sector) will be based in the centre. This is our sixth primary care centre development and I think we have brought all our previous experience to bear successfully on Mullingar Primary Care Centre”.

Jim Curran, Head of Estates for the HSE commented:

“It is great to see the completion of Mullingar Primary Care Centre, the centre is one of the largest developed to date. I look forward to working with the Octopus Healthcare team during the operation of the primary care centre. Also I welcome the involvement of Octopus Healthcare in other primary care centre developments in Ireland”.

Orpington luxury care home development reaches construction milestone

A major milestone was reached in the construction of a new Baycroft care home in Orpington today. The building was ‘topped out’ as the final section of the roof was put in place by Mayor of Bromley Cllr Ian Payne. The property, developed by the leading healthcare investor and developer, Octopus Healthcare, will be the first of Baycroft’s new line of care homes to open and will offer its 75 residents their own bespoke bedroom within luxury surroundings and hotel standard services.

Once the home is fully operational it will create 80 new jobs at a range of levels from nurses to chefs and dementia care specialists. Recruitment will begin in April.

Cllr Ian Payne, Mayor of Bromley, said:

“I’m delighted Baycroft is investing in this prestigious new development in Orpington, bringing 80 new jobs to the area. Older people are such an important part of our community and it’s important they have great places to live.”

Andrew Winstanley, Managing Director of Baycroft, said:

“After a lifetime of hard work and success we want to make sure our residents’ older years are better years. There is a nationwide shortage of great care homes and Baycroft Gray’s Farm Road will help fill the gap, giving high-quality personal care while being near family and Orpington’s fantastic community.”

The development includes a beautiful landscaped garden and luxury dining area where fresh, locally sourced and seasonal meals will be served. Residents will also be encouraged to enjoy the on-site cinema, library, hair salon, spa treatment room and gym.

Andrew Winstanley added:

“We are looking for something special in our staff and we are offering market leading pay and benefits to all Baycroft staff. They will also be joining the broader One Housing family, which offers significant career opportunities.”

Richard Dooley, Development Director at Octopus Healthcare commented:

“This exemplar care home is a best-in-class development designed to be at the forefront of care provision within Orpington and the surrounding locality.  Both the property and the range of care services available have been designed to support the demands of the ageing population and growing needs of the community.   The team at Octopus Healthcare is excited to be working with One Housing over the coming years to develop more care homes for the communities across the South East of England”.

Baycroft is part of award winning care and supported housing provider One Housing, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. The launch of Baycroft is part of One Housing’s strategy to build over 1,000 high quality units for older people to enjoy living over the next three years.

Oliver Goodman joins Octopus Healthcare as Property Manager

London, 10 March 2017Octopus Healthcare announces the recent appointment of Oliver Goodman to the group. Oliver joins the property and asset management team as Property Asset Manager, and will be involved in the management of the primary care properties in the MedicX Fund portfolio of purpose built single and multi-tenanted primary healthcare premises across England and Scotland.

The MedicX Fund is a specialist primary healthcare infrastructure in modern purpose-built properties in the UK, with a healthcare property investment portfolio of over 150 properties. Octopus Healthcare helps GPs, CCGs, and healthcare operators gain access to investment, such as the MedicX Fund, to deliver new buildings and improve access to healthcare services for their local communities.

Previously with BNP Paribas Real Estate where he was a Lease Advisory Surveyor, Oliver has a wealth of experience in office, retail and industrial properties on behalf of landlords and tenants across London, the South East and Scotland. At Octopus Healthcare, Oliver will deal with day to day management issues, and identify strategies and implement value add projects by undertaking lease re-gears, refurbishments and extensions across the portfolio. He will also oversee rent reviews and the lease renewal process across the portfolio, while assisting in the preparation and review of quarterly portfolio valuations.

On his appointment Oliver Goodman said:
“I’m very much looking forward to working with GPs and other primary care professionals to help them deliver healthcare services into the future.”

James Young, Head of Property and Asset Management at Octopus Healthcare:
“I’m delighted to welcome Oliver Goodman to our growing team and his appointment will provide even more support to our primary care partners. The MedicX Fund is a leading investor in modern, purpose-built primary care premises, providing communities with access to a range of healthcare services in their local areas and enabling primary care providers to meet increased demand from patients.”


This press release is issued by Octopus Healthcare Adviser Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. It is for use by journalists in their professional capacity and should not be relied upon by retail clients.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Mark Davis, Octopus Healthcare
e: press@octopushealthcare.com
t: +44 (0) 20 3142 4087

Sharon Barlow, Hyped Marketing
e: sharon@hypedmarketing.co.uk
t: +44 (0) 1252 717373

Notes to editors

About Octopus Healthcare

Octopus Healthcare, part of the Octopus group, is a leading UK healthcare property investor, developer and manager of healthcare properties. The Octopus Healthcare team invests in and develops properties as well as creating partnerships to deliver innovative healthcare buildings to improve the health, wealth and wellbeing of the UK. It currently manages over £1 billion of healthcare investments across a number of platforms, with a focus on five core areas: GP surgeries, care homes, specialist education schools, retirement housing and private hospitals.

Edward Clough joins Octopus Healthcare as Business Development Director

London, 24 July 2017Octopus Healthcare announces the appointment of Edward Clough to the group. Edward joins as Business Development Director, with a focus on primary care, to ensure the MedicX Fund reaches £1 billion of investment within the next three years.

The MedicX Fund is a specialist primary healthcare infrastructure fund, investing in modern purpose-built properties in the UK and Ireland. It has a healthcare property investment portfolio of over 150 properties. Octopus Healthcare helps GPs, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), and healthcare operators gain access to investment, such as the MedicX Fund, to deliver new buildings and improve access to healthcare services for their local communities.

Previously with international law firm, Allen and Overy, Edward’s new role is to identify primary care development opportunities through engagement with GPs, CCGs and NHS England. This will also involve engaging with all areas of the NHS – including NHS PS and Trusts – to explore investment or development opportunities.

Octopus Healthcare has extensive experience working with the NHS to facilitate the development of new modern premises, either directly through JV structures, or indirectly using Strategic Estates Partnerships (SEPs). Edward will develop these partnerships further with the goal of ensuring healthcare premises are fit for purpose, and meet the demands of both patients and clinicians.

On his appointment Edward Clough said:
“I am delighted to join the Octopus Healthcare team and look forward to identifying many exciting opportunities for primary care providers, helping to ensure that patients and GPs have the best facilities possible in their local communities.”

Tim Meggitt, Director at Octopus Healthcare:
“Edward’s appointment demonstrates our commitment to proactively facilitating improvements in primary care provision, ensuring that GPs have modern, state-of-the-art premises to deliver healthcare services. The MedicX Fund is a leading investor in modern, purpose-built primary care premises, providing communities with access to a range of healthcare services in their local areas and enabling primary care providers to meet increased demand from patients.”


This press release is issued by Octopus Healthcare Adviser Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. It is for use by journalists in their professional capacity and should not be relied upon by retail clients.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Mark Davis, Octopus Healthcare
e: press@octopushealthcare.com
t: +44 (0) 20 3142 4087

Sharon Barlow, Hyped Marketing
e: sharon@hypedmarketing.co.uk
t: +44 (0) 1252 717373

Notes to editors

About Octopus Healthcare

Octopus Healthcare, part of the Octopus group, is a leading UK healthcare property investor, developer and manager of healthcare properties. The Octopus Healthcare team invests in and develops properties as well as creating partnerships to deliver innovative healthcare buildings to improve the health, wealth and wellbeing of the UK. It currently manages over £1 billion of healthcare investments across a number of platforms, with a focus on five core areas: GP surgeries, care homes, specialist education schools, retirement housing and private hospitals. The Octopus Group has 150,000 customers who have invested more than £7 billion. Our approach is simple- find out what’s broken and then work out the way it should be. We’re known for innovation, doing the simple things well and for customer service that goes the extra mile. This allows us to make a difference, both to our customers and to the world around us.

New facilities will meet growing patient demand in Pudsey

Building works started last month on the extension and refurbishment of Robin Lane Health and Wellbeing Centre in Pudsey. Once complete in Autumn 2017, the 167m2 ground floor extension will provide an additional seven clinical rooms to support this growing practice’s patient list.

Alongside the new extension and facilities, the refurbishment will upgrade seven existing clinical rooms, reconfigure the treatment suite to include a minor operations suite and provide an enhanced reception and waiting area.

Over the last five years Robin Lane Health and Wellbeing Centre has seen patient numbers grow from 8,500 to over 13,500, and this popular centre receives many new registrations every day. With a vision to provide more urgent care in the community, as well as building on a philosophy of proactive personal care planning, the building project will enable the GP practice and wellbeing centre to deliver on their strategic plan.

The 20 year old health centre, acquired by the MedicX Fund in 2012 and managed by Octopus Healthcare, is already a great example of an innovative approach to delivering more healthcare services in the local community. The building works will help support the growing patient list, scaling services to offer better patient access and very much echoes the direction of NHS England and the GP Five Year Forward View strategy.

In fact Robin Lane Health and Wellbeing Centre is one of just five GP practices specifically mentioned in the GP Five Year Forward plan. It is very much more than a GP practice, it is a centre for proactively promoting health and wellbeing in the local community, and has recently been awarded ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission. The Centre’s four-year plan is focused on bringing healthcare services closer to home for patients. New facilities, such as the minor operations suite, will help this primary care partnership achieve these goals.

The team at Robin Lane Health and Wellbeing Centre recognised that to deliver their strategic plan, extensive redevelopment of the practice was required. This has included investment in premises, infrastructure, services and staff. All with the vision of improving the patient experience for the local community in Pudsey.

The property and asset management team at Octopus Healthcare worked with the management team at Robin Lane Health and Wellbeing Centre to support the planning and development process. This is one of a number of projects the team are working on to deliver increased space to already successful and growing practices.

James Young, Head of Property and Asset Management at Octopus Healthcare:
“Robin Lane Health and Wellbeing Centre is a fantastic example of a GP practice that is striving to change patient outcomes in the local community. It has been our great pleasure to support this primary care partnership team to ensure that they can grow the practice and enhance the range of services available to their patients. Anyone who wants to know what outstanding community healthcare provision should look like, only has to look at Robin Lane Health and Wellbeing Centre to see it in action.”

Mev Forbes, Managing Partner at Robin Lane Health and Wellbeing Centre:
“Our vision has always been to offer the highest quality primary health care to our patients here in Pudsey, and to enable them to live longer and healthier lives. We know that this can only be achieved by taking a proactive approach to healthcare services in the local community, focused on preventative solutions as well as treatments. With the support of Octopus Healthcare, and the redevelopment project, we will be able to make a real difference to patient outcomes and the health of our community.”

Housing and health giants launch new £200m retirement business

Places for People and Octopus Healthcare have joined forces to launch a new £200m business to tackle the chronic undersupply of retirement housing in the United Kingdom and provide aspirational homes for over-55s looking to downsize.

Liberty Retirement Living, plans to deliver 25 retirement villages and 2,700 units over the next five years after Octopus Healthcare created a new partnership with one of the UK’s largest property management and development companies Places for People.

Liberty aims to become a sector leader in the provision of accommodation and lifestyle services for the over-55s within the next three years.

It will set new standards in the provision of retirement accommodation in Britain by focusing on the preservation of independence, using technology to empower residents, creating a genuine village feel in their retirement developments which will come complete with on-site restaurants, shops and other community facilities – as well as providing bespoke care and support for those who require it.

Britain’s population is ageing fast. There are now more people in the UK aged 60 and above than there are under 18. In the next 17 years, the number of people aged 65 and over is projected to rise by more than 40%.

According to the Office for National Statistics there are more than 11.6m over 65s in the UK in June 2015 – accounting for almost a fifth of the population (17.8%).

It is estimated that only around 2% of the UK’s housing stock is retirement housing causing a chronic undersupply in purpose-built retirement homes when compared with the US and Australia where respectively 17% and 13% of their nation’s housing stock is retirement housing.

A residential research paper on retirement housing published by Knight Frank in 2016 examined the pipeline of new retirement housing being built in the UK. It showed that only 3% of new housing which has been granted planning permission is specifically for the elderly.

The lack of suitable retirement housing is one factor preventing older people from downsizing and freeing up larger homes for families. Knight Frank estimate that around 25% of over-55s want to move into some sort of retirement housing in the future. This equates to around 2.5 million households.

Octopus Healthcare currently manages more than £1 billion of healthcare assets including GP surgeries, care homes, private hospitals, specialist schools and retirement villages.

The Places for People Group, which is now comprised of 20 different companies, manages or owns more than 180,000 homes and 115 leisure facilities, after the organisation took a strategic decision to diversify from a housing association into a commercially focussed placemaker providing housing for all markets and price ranges.

Octopus Healthcare has invested £180m towards the creation of Liberty with Places for People committing £20m and leading on the development of the new retirement homes.

So far it has begun construction/has planning permission for six retirement villages and plans to deliver seven villages in its first year comprising of 700 homes.

Life at Liberty retirement villages will be based around community hubs such as restaurants, coffee shops, gyms and beauty salons to create a village feel while the provision of spaces for residents to share skills and learn new hobbies will establish a genuine community, helping to improve wellbeing, encourage independence and improve quality of life.

Smart technology will put residents in full control of their environment by offering temperature control, energy monitoring and video communication facilities with on-site staff and friends and family.

Jane Barker, Managing Director, Liberty Retirement Living, said: The over-55s are a huge group made up of different generations with different expectations and aims and many of them don’t consider themselves ‘old’.

“With Liberty, we want to create both the building and service offering aimed at a younger market, including offering contemporary homes that are easy to look after. Most importantly however, the properties will feel like home – with a more personal environment and a selection of more targeted facilities and services.

“That’s why we have huge aspirations for growth to match the growing need for properties of this type.”

Shay Ramalingam, Director at Octopus Healthcare, said: “As a business Octopus Healthcare is focussed on improving the health, wealth and wellbeing of the UK population by creating living spaces and environments which help people to make the most of their lives. We’re currently invested in more than 200 healthcare facilities across the UK and we see retirement villages as probably the largest growth property sector in this country. Not only are we living for longer, but our quality of life as we age is improving, meaning we want more from the places we live.

“As a business we’re passionate about creating partnerships that bring new and innovative solutions to British consumers, which is why we’re excited about investing in Liberty alongside Places for People as one of the country’s most respected property managers and developers.”

David Cowans, Group Chief Executive, Places for People, said: We know that in order to meet the needs of our growing older generation, we need to change the way we plan our cities, towns and villages, including paving the way for new retirement villages.

“Developing retirement properties to meet the changing needs of older people is key to realising our ambitions of catering for people at all stages of their life, and making a positive contribution to the wider housing market as well as local communities.”

Michael Voges, Executive Director, Arco (Associated Retirement Community Operators), said: “For many years, the UK has suffered from a chronic lack of supply in the specialist retirement sector; severely trailing countries like the United States, Australia and New Zealand in meeting the housing and lifestyle needs of an aging population.

“We are delighted to see Liberty launch with the aim of providing much needed retirement living across the country. I have no doubt that this unique lifestyle offer will make Liberty a highly-respected national operator over the coming years.”

Liberty Retirement Living is being officially launched at The Royal Institution in Mayfair on Thursday, April 6th.