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Octopus Real Estate and Pension Insurance Corporation acquire Brent Cross site in partnership with Audley Group

22 Aug 2023 By Octopus Real Estate

Brent Cross Town announces that it has attracted the joint venture between Audley Group and Senior Living Investment Partners (‘SLIP’) to deliver Brent Cross Town’s first retirement village. It marks continued investment and construction momentum at the 180-acre, £8bn net zero park town being delivered by Related Argent and Barnet Council partnership. Providing specialist homes for later living is an important part of the new town’s commitment to be inclusive, and to design a place that works for all residents.

Audley Group is the UK’s leading provider of Integrated Retirement Communities (‘IRCs’) and SLIP is the £200 million partnership between specialist real estate investor Octopus Real Estate and Pension Insurance Corporation (‘PIC’), a specialist insurer of defined benefit pension schemes. Brent Cross Town is the joint venture’s second investment with Audley following the announcement of its debut at Headley Court in Surrey last month.

The 0.6-acre plot at Brent Cross Town has been acquired by the Audley Group and SLIP joint venture which will develop a retirement village with c.150 homes as part of Audley Group’s Mayfield Villages. Brent Cross Town will be the second Mayfield Village in the UK, and the first to be developed in London. The Mayfield brand was designed to bring contemporary retirement living to a much wider audience and to give more people more choice over how and where they live as they get older.

Related Argent, as development manager for Brent Cross Town, will lead the early planning and design process in collaboration with Audley Group. It is anticipated that construction of the new retirement village will start by the end of 2024.

Brent Cross Town is among Europe’s largest 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.

The announcement of the first retirement village at Brent Cross Town follows the start-on-site of five buildings including for sale, build-to-rent and student homes. A new train station, Brent Cross West, is due to open later this year, connecting to King’s Cross in as little as 12 minutes, and Sheffield Hallam University will open its first campus outside of Yorkshire at Brent Cross Town.

Nearly one in five people in England and Wales is now aged 65 or older, the highest proportion ever recorded, and the number of over 65s is projected to grow to 17.2 million by 2040. A leading review published in late 2022 revealed that 50,000 new homes for older people must built each year, to help the UK population stay well for longer, and reduce pressure on the NHS and care services.

The new Mayfield Village is aligned with Brent Cross Town’s focus on delivering a flourishing community rooted in health, wellbeing and access to sports and play for everyone. The retirement village – centred around communal spaces and central facilities – will include a café and bistro, gym, swimming pool, spa, relaxation area and village hall, all set within Brent Cross Town’s network of green outside spaces. The net-zero credentials of Brent Cross Town reflect the commitment of Audley Group and SLIP to invest in and deliver some of the highest quality schemes in the senior living sector, driven by a commitment to carbon efficiency and offering health and wellbeing benefits for our ageing population.

Tom Goodall, Managing Director of Related Argent, said:

“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, added:

“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 in the form of 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.”

Hayley Rees, Managing Director PIC Capital, said:

“Our latest integrated retirement community investment is part of the wider regeneration project in Brent Cross, where the focus extends beyond constructing new homes into the creation of a vibrant multi-generational community. Our investment into this future net zero town highlights our commitment to creating a sustainable and inclusive space that supports the needs of our residents and the wider community. Together, we’re creating a future where senior living becomes a cornerstone of a thriving and connected neighbourhood. The focus on regeneration and sustainability in Brent Cross embodies PIC’s purposeful finance ethos – safely investing in the UK in order to pay the pensions of our policyholders.”

Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Group, said:

“The demand for retirement villages continues to grow, and with an aging 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 with Related Argent and Barnet Council to meet that demand in north London. Mixed use developments which include integrated retirement living are vital to create vibrant, intergenerational communities.”

Councillor Ross Houston, Deputy Leader of Barnet Council and Cabinet Member for Homes and Regeneration, concluded:

“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.”

Health and wellness will be integral to the village, helping property owners live better, for longer. Care will be provided by Mayfield Care, which is CQC registered. Against a backdrop of undersupply and increasing demand, driven by the UK’s growing older population, SLIP’s and Audley Group’s objective is the development of new, high-quality, retirement communities nationwide.

Knight Frank led the marketing process on behalf of Brent Cross Town.



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