Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) and Octopus Real Estate’s newly created UK retirement living partnership has joined forces with Audley Group to develop retirement communities.

Senior Living Investment Partners (SLIP) and Audley intend to develop up to four new integrated retirement communities (IRC) across multiple sites.

The communities SLIP is developing with Audley will create 600 new retirement units across four new villages. The first project is the Audley Village at Headley Court in Surrey.

In June last year, PIC, a specialist insurer of defined benefit pension funds, announced plans to invest up to £200m (€233m) in the UK retirement-living sector in partnership with Octopus.

Through the SLIP joint venture, PIC and Octopus expect to provide homes for around 2,000 older residents in the coming years across 10 communities and deliver £1bn in gross development value into the sector.

SLIP made its first investment in November last year via a partnership with Elysian Residences to buy a nine-acre site in Hertfordshire to develop a £115m retirement community in How Wood in St Albans.

Max Cawthorn, the head of capital strategy at PIC, said: “Our joint venture with Octopus Real Estate continues to make excellent progress in helping to meet the twin challenge of an ageing population and an undersupply of appropriate housing.

“The calibre of Audley Group and its long experience in the UK retirement market make it a perfect partner for Senior Living Investment Partners. Through our relationship, we will help address these societal issues while also providing long-term, secure investments which underpin the pensions we pay to our policyholders.”

Kevin Beirne, head of retirement at Octopus Real Estate, said the joint venture with Audley will deliver 600 new retirement units across four sites, supplying a mixture of Audley and Mayfield village offerings to “provide much-needed growth of the UK retirement-living market for older people, as well as facilitating the increased availability of family homes”.

Beirne added: “The IRC proposition goes far beyond just high-quality real estate. IRCs provide an investment opportunity to deliver strong and sustainable returns while delivering unique impact through improved lifestyle and well-being for our ageing population.”

Nick Sanderson, founder of Audley Group and CEO, said: “The demand for retirement villages is only growing. Octopus Real Estate and PIC have recognised the opportunity in the retirement space and it’s wonderful to see a new JV [joint venture] with dedicated capital to grow the sector.

“We have been working with JV partners for some time; it allows us to execute the model in a less capital-intensive manner, which in turn means we can accelerate the delivery of these much-needed villages.”

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