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Audley Group and BlackRock Real Assets Create Joint Venture

Audley Group and BlackRock Real Assets have formed a joint venture for the UK’s retirement living sector.

The joint venture will fund the development of retirement communities including at least three mid-market villages within the Audley Group’s Mayfield portfolio. Rothschild and Co advised Audley, and JLL advised BlackRock Real Assets on the transaction.

The first village in the JV, Audley Group’s Mayfield site at Watford, will create 255 mid-market retirement living properties with extensive health, wellbeing, care and leisure facilities. The project is well-advanced with strong pre-sales and will be ready for occupation in the summer of 2022.

Audley will manage the development and the operational running of the village, including the sales and marketing of all the properties.

Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Group, said: “Today’s announcement truly is a landmark event, not just for Audley Group but for the whole retirement living sector in the UK. Partnering with a leading global investment team is a major endorsement of our model and the potential for value creation in social and financial terms that exists within the sector. An ageing population coupled with a pandemic has made people question their living choices and means they are rightly demanding access to active communities, greater security and a place where they can thrive in rude health within their own homes for as long as possible. And as this demand continues, we look forward to continuing in partnership with BlackRock Real Assets to fund appropriate retirement living accommodation solutions for the UK market. Our shared focus on the long-term health of our customers, social impact and sustainability, will be central to our ongoing activity.”

Audley and Mayfield villages enable owners to live an independent and healthy lifestyle in their own homes with flexible care, wellbeing services and support when needed. These services are accessible to property owners as well as neighbouring communities. Facilities at the villages include a swimming pool, health and wellbeing studio, restaurant, bars and bistro as well as care services. Care is provided by Audley Group’s CQC registered provider.