Charters Towers with a view across the boules court

The concept of Retirement Villages Limited, founded in 1981, is based on a model that offers active, elderly people a supported lifestyle in villages with extensive facilities. Since a change of ownership in 2005, the company has expanded rapidly through joint ventures, acquisition of existing villages, development of new sites and expansion into new service areas.

Retirement Villages has grown from three completed villages with one under construction in February 2005 to 12 operating villages with a further four under development today. The new projects include care facilities that are more labour intensive, and there has been a significant increase in staff numbers, from 120 in February 2005 to around 550 by March 09.

Now Retirement Villages has increased its portfolio of operating sites to 12, with the addition of Avonpark near Bath. Avonpark, bought from Care Estates Ltd, includes a broad range of retirement accommodation of one, two and three bedroom apartments and houses as well as extensive social and leisure facilities with related support and care services for residents.

Set in 15 acres, the 10-year-old village is a continuing care retirement community providing a range of options from supported independent living through to full 24-hour nursing and dementia care.

The communal and leisure facilities include an on-site restaurant, bar and lounge, hairdressing salon, bridge room and library, conservatory, small shop, two guest suites, doctors’ surgery and therapy room, mini gym; meeting room, allotments, and landscaped gardens.

An ambitious plan

“This is a great addition to our portfolio and strengthens our position in a growing market,” commented Retirement Villages’ chief executive Jon Gooding. “We have a new development programme worth more than £140 million, but, because there are less than 50 private sector retirement villages operating in the UK, opportunities to acquire high quality existing villages are rare and this fits very well with our existing operations in the South West of England.”

The 12 Retirement Villages operational developments are located in Warwickshire, Lincolnshire, Surrey, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Essex, Hertfordshire, Devon and Cornwall – with others in planning stages or development.

Mayford Barn Lodge, Woking

Mayford Grange in Woking is the newest completed village. There are 42 apartments and a small nursing suite is to be added in the New Year. Nine properties remain to be sold.

A large extension is underway at The Moat House in Great Dunmow, Essex. The current 24-bed residential home will be extensively refurbished to create around 24-close care apartments once the new 60 bed care home being built in the grounds is completed.

At Charters Towers in East Grinstead, demolition work is soon to begin after which work will start to create a new, purpose built village with a range of living options including 83 extra care properties and a 60 bed care home.

Roseland Parc now has a dementia unit – Penlee – in the former nursing home. The self-contained unit has been designed to match the very latest thinking in the best way to care for patients living with dementia. Similarly, the Minstrels at Boston in Lincolnshire has undergone extensive upgrading during which a dedicated dementia unit – The Aspen Suite – has been created.

  • Inspired originally from American lifestyle developments often built around golf courses and extensive leisure facilities, the idea behind Retirement Villages was adapted to meet the very different needs of the UK market.
  • In 2005, new owners set out an ambitious plan to grow the portfolio of villages and extend and enhance the range of services and facilities to residents. This expansion is now underway and the emphasis is now very much on continuing care.
  • In 2010, Retirement Villages was selected as a finalist for the Health Investor Awards 2010 in the Residential Care Provider category.

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