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£40m government loan to back Audley retirement village in Watford

The UK government has approved a £40m loan from the £4.5bn Home Building Fund to accelerate the construction of 255 retirement homes in Audley Group’s Mayfield Villages portfolio.

The loan from Homes England, the government’s housing agency, will be deployed to build Mayfield Watford, part of the Riverwell regeneration scheme.

Mayfield Villages is Audley Group’s mid-market proposition and the properties in its first village will include extensive health, wellbeing, care and leisure facilities.

Property owners and members of the local area will also benefit from access to the Care Quality Commission-rated Mayfield Care.

“First and foremost this will enable hundreds of later life customers to enjoy high-quality, independent living accommodation for years to come. The area will benefit from enhanced care provision and family homes will be freed up for the next generation,” said Homes England chief executive Peter Denton.

“Our loan directly addresses market funding challenges due to the pandemic and highlights our commitment to ensuring diverse communities,” he added.

Audley Group chief executive Nick Sanderson 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.”

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