PIC and Octopus Real Estate acquire Brent Cross site
PENSION INSURANCE CORPORATION AND OCTOPUS REAL ESTATE ACQUIRE BRENT CROSS SITE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH AUDLEY GROUP
Senior Living Investment Partners (‘SLIP’), a £200 million partnership between Pension Insurance Corporation plc (‘PIC’), a specialist insurer of defined benefit pension schemes, and Octopus Real Estate (‘Octopus’), a specialist real estate lender and investor, today announces an investment in Brent Cross Town, north London. This marks SLIP’s third retirement community investment and the second with Audley Group, the UK’s leading provider of Integrated Retirement Communities (‘IRCs’) following the acquisition of the Headley Court site in Leatherhead, Surrey, announced in July 2023.
The joint venture between Audley and SLIP has agreed to acquire 100% of the long leasehold interest in a plot within the Brent Cross Town (‘BXT’) masterplan on which to develop a new retirement village as part of Audley Group’s Mayfield Villages. Brent Cross Town will be the second Mayfield Village, 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.
The site benefits from the BXT’s outline planning permission and will deliver 147 retirement units along with 14,627 sq ft of amenities. The scheme is part of the Brent Cross Town development, a 180-acre masterplan managed by Brent Cross South Limited Partnership (BXS LP), being delivered through a 50/50 partnership between Barnet Council and the developer Related Argent (‘RA’). 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.
Image: CGI of homes beside Claremont Park, Brent Cross Town. Credit: Related Argent
Image: CGI of Brent Cross Town, view looking east across Claremont Park. Credit: Related Argent
Image at the top of the page: Primary Substation at Brent Cross Town. Credit: John Sturrock
PIC has a purposeful investment strategy, through which the company backs the pensions of its policyholders over decades with secure, long-term assets. The company continues to invest significant sums in sectors which seek to address the accommodation shortage in the UK across the demographic spectrum. This includes temporary accommodation to aid those at risk of homelessness, social housing, build to rent, and retirement living.
SLIP’s focus remains on the development of a portfolio of new, high-quality, retirement communities nationwide. Its ambition is to house up to 2,000 people in the coming years across ten IRC developments to help address the current undersupply and increasing demand from an ageing population with the UK.
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.”
Bryony Harrap, PIC Capital Senior Strategy Manager, said: “The creation of new communities through large scale regeneration projects is completely consistent with PIC's purposeful investment strategy. Our investment in the retirement village is one piece of the jigsaw that will allow the provision of new homes, jobs and living spaces for the people of Brent Cross. Working closely with our joint venture partner Octopus Real Estate and leading retirement village provider Audley Group, we continue to play our part in meeting the twin challenge of an aging population and an undersupply of appropriate housing while also providing long-term secure investments which underpin the pensions we pay to our policyholders.”
Tom Goodall, Managing Director of Related Argent, added: “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: “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.”
Councillor Ross Houston, Deputy Leader of Barnet Council and Cabinet Member for Homes and Regeneration, said: “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.”
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For further information please contact:
+44 (0)7973 628446
+44 (0)7540 412301
Henry Conner +44 (0) 7709 577073
Jo Preston or Ellie Pocock
The purpose of PIC is to pay the pensions of its current and future policyholders. PIC provides secure retirement incomes through comprehensive risk management and excellence in asset and liability management, as well as exceptional customer service. At year end 2022, PIC had insured 302,200 pension scheme members and had £41 billion in financial investments, accumulated through the provision of tailored pension insurance buyouts and buy-ins to the trustees and sponsors of UK defined benefit pension schemes. To date, PIC has made total pension payments of £10.6 billion to its policyholders. Clients include FTSE 100 companies, multinationals and the public sector. PIC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority (FRN 454345). For further information please visit www.pensioncorporation.com
About Octopus Real Estate
Octopus Real Estate, part of Octopus Investments, is a leading specialist real estate investor, with over £3.7 billion in real estate assets and secured lending, and a highly experienced team of over 90 professionals. The property lending team provides bespoke, customer focused financing solutions across the UK residential, commercial and development sectors. The team has lent more than £6.2 billion across over 4,400 loans, providing competitively priced financing throughout the UK and spanning the property investment lifecycle, with loans typically ranging from £100,000 to £100 million+. The investment team manages over £1.8 billion of investments, with a focus on care homes, retirement communities and affordable housing.
About Audley Group
Audley Group is a specialist retirement housing provider which acquires sites, develops and then operates retirement villages. The Group has two brands: Audley Villages, founded in 1991 and aimed at the luxury end of the market, and Mayfield Villages, a proposition with broader appeal. Audley Group now owns a portfolio of 21 villages across the country. Owners buy their own house or apartment on a 250-year lease with access to facilities and flexible care if needed, enabling them to live an independent and healthy life. Audley Group is an accredited provider of homecare and a founder member of The Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO), the main body supporting Integrated Retirement Communities across the UK, setting standards for the sector, and representing the interests of consumers and providers at a national level.