Guild Living to build retirement communities in town centres, says finance giant

Guild Living 2

Legal & General is ramping up its activity in retirement housing after announcing the creation of a new developer and operator called Guild Living.

L&G already has a retirement operation, Inspired Villages Group, established in 2017, that builds developments for older people.

Headed by former Lendlease retirement living managing director Michael Eggington, Guild Living schemes will be aimed at the over-65s and built in urban areas, close to amenities and town centres.

L&G said it planned to build more than 3,000 homes under the Guild Living umbrella in the next five years, worth £2bn in gross development value terms.

The group has already launched two developments, one on a 4.5-acre site in Bath and another on a 3-acre plot in Epsom, Surrey.

Each site will feature 200 flats and contain a restaurant, a consultant room for GP surgeries, a physiotherapy gym and pool and retail space for local businesses, with facilities open to the local community.

L&G said residents would live “independently, with flexible and supportive care available if and when needed. In Epsom specifically, the new scheme will include keyworker units and transitional care suites, available to the NHS as and when required.”

The group said more than 2 million people aged over 75 in England lived on their own, while 1 million older people often went for a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.

L&G said its Guild communities would have the potential to reduce social isolation.

Phil Bayliss, chief executive for later living at L&G and Guild Living’s chair, said: “With over three million over-60s in UK seeking to downsize their homes, we see a £100bn investment opportunity.”

Bayliss said 84% of the UK population lived in urban areas and he expected retirees to continue to migrate to UK towns and cities to enjoy local amenities and be closer to their loved ones and transport links.

“We are establishing the Guild to address this staggering opportunity and tackle the NHS and care crisis head-on. This forms an excellent extension of Legal & General’s retirement ecosystem.

“Through Guild Living and together with our existing out-of-town offering, we will now be delivering over 7,000 later-living homes over the next five years.”