Senior Living Investment Partners (‘SLIP’), a £200 million partnership between Pension Insurance Corporation plc (‘PIC’), a specialist insurer of defined benefit pension schemes, and Octopus Real Estate (‘Octopus’), a specialist real estate lender and investor, has announced an investment in Brent Cross Town, North London.
This marks SLIP’s third retirement community investment and the second with Audley Group, the UK’s leading provider of Integrated Retirement Communities (‘IRCs’), following the acquisition of the Headley Court site in Leatherhead, Surrey, announced in July 2023.
The joint venture between Audley and SLIP has agreed to acquire 100 per cent of the long leasehold interest in a plot within the Brent Cross Town (‘BXT’) masterplan on which to develop a new retirement village as part of Audley Group’s Mayfield Villages. Brent Cross Town will be the second Mayfield Village and the first to be set in London. The Mayfield brand was designed to bring contemporary retirement living to a much wider audience and give more people more choice over how and where they live as they age.
The site benefits from the BXT’s outline planning permission and will deliver 147 retirement units and 14,627 sq ft of amenities. The scheme is part of the Brent Cross Town development, a 180-acre masterplan managed by Brent Cross South Limited Partnership (BXS LP), being delivered through a 50/50 partnership between Barnet Council and the developer Related Argent (‘RA’). Brent Cross Town is among Europe’s most significant urban regeneration projects and, once completed, will become one of the largest net-zero developments in the UK, with nearly 7,000 new homes, 3 million sq ft of offices, a high street and schools surrounded by 50 acres of parks and playing fields.
PIC has a purposeful investment strategy through which the company backs the pensions of its policyholders over decades with secure, long-term assets. The company continues to invest significant sums in sectors seeking to address the UK’s accommodation shortage across the demographic spectrum. This includes temporary accommodation to aid those at risk of homelessness, social housing, build-to-rent, and retirement living.
SLIP focuses on developing a new, high-quality retirement community portfolio nationwide. Its ambition is to house up to 2,000 people in the coming years across ten IRC developments to help address the current undersupply and increasing demand from an ageing population in the UK.
Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Group, said: “The demand for retirement villages continues to grow, and with an ageing population, there is an urgent need to build more units. Brent Cross Town will be our second Mayfield village, and I’m delighted to work with our JV partners and Related Argent and Barnet Council to meet that demand in north London. Mixed-use developments, which include integrated retirement living, are vital to creating vibrant, intergenerational communities.”
Bryony Harrap, PIC Capital’s senior strategy manager, said: “The creation of new communities through large-scale regeneration projects is completely consistent with PIC’s purposeful investment strategy. Our investment in the retirement village is one piece of the jigsaw that will allow the provision of new homes, jobs and living spaces for the people of Brent Cross. Working closely with our joint venture partner Octopus Real Estate and leading retirement village provider Audley Group, we continue to play our part in meeting the twin challenges of an ageing population and an undersupply of appropriate housing while also providing long-term secure investments which underpin the pensions we pay to our policyholders.”
Tom Goodall, managing director of Related Argent, added: “Securing the right partner for our senior living offer at Brent Cross Town was extremely important to us. We are creating one of the largest town centre developments across Europe, and providing homes and amenities for all ages is critical to its success. We are pleased to welcome a joint venture of this calibre that brings extensive expertise in the sector and demonstrates the strength of Brent Cross Town, which continues to attract significant inward investment.”
Kevin Beirne, head of retirement at Octopus Real Estate: “To have an IRC at the centre of such an impactful regeneration project is a fantastic result for the wider later living sector. The net-zero credentials of this scheme are laudable and demonstrate our commitment to helping the UK meet its net zero by 2050 target. It’s fitting, too, that a retirement village benefits from this; older people spend more time in their homes than any other cohort. The efficiency of these new homes will deliver real value for residents through thermal comfort and lower energy bills.
“Through our SLIP partnership with PIC, we aim to deliver some of the highest quality developments the later living sector has ever seen, with a drive towards both carbon efficiency and significant health and wellbeing benefits for the UK’s older population. This scheme is a great example of that.”
Councillor Ross Houston, deputy leader of Barnet Council and Cabinet Member for Homes and Regeneration, said: “Barnet’s new net-zero park town has been carefully designed to meet the needs of our residents now and in the future with a range of options including social housing, private sale homes, student accommodation and homes built to rent. I also welcome the investment in more high quality, specialist housing options for later living in our borough, which will sit at the heart of this vibrant new mixed community that provides everything needed to live an independent, fulfilled life.”
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