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Homes England pumps £40m in Watford retirement scheme

Homes England has injected £40m of funding into retirement homes developer Audley Group’s planned Watford Riverwell scheme in Hertfordshire.

The loan is one of the first for the older living sector from the £4.5bn Home Building Fund and will accelerate the construction of 255 mid-market retirement homes.

Balfour Beatty has secured a £68m contract from Audley Group for the mix of one- and two- bedroom apartments.

The firm will also lead the delivery of communal facilities that include swimming pool, restaurant, a health club and a multi-purpose village hall that will be surrounded with green spaces and parking.

Balfour Beatty will manufacture 180 apartment balconies offsite, thereby reducing the risk of working at height and improve the overall project efficiency.

The early works at the site are already underway and the main construction works are slated to be completed in 2023.

Peter Denton, Chief Executive at Homes England, said: “Our loan directly addresses market funding challenges due to the pandemic and highlights our commitment to ensuring diverse communities.”

Nick Sanderson, CEO, Audley Group said: “The transaction with Homes England is an important milestone for the retirement living sector.

“A coming of age. Government backing underlines the importance placed on increasing provision in the retirement living sector and developing more innovative housing solutions.

“Our aspiration to transform retirement is shared with both Homes England and BlackRock Real Assets and this will be the focus as we look to the future.”

Mayfield’s first Retirement Village will be built near Watford General Hospital.

The development is a cornerstone to the wider Riverwell regeneration scheme in what is a priority location for the agency, allowing it to help deliver more ambitious plans.

The project also incorporates elements of Modern Methods of Construction, covering build and project management activities.


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