Legal & General has entered into a 15-year joint venture partnership (the JV) with NatWest Pension Trustee Limited (NWPTL), the defined benefit pension scheme of NatWest Group, to invest €586m (£500m) of equity to build later living communities which will be developed and operated by Inspired Villages. The deal supports Inspired Villages’ next stage of growth as it scales up its ambitions to deliver net zero carbon later living communities across the UK to meet the fast-growing need for specialist later living accommodation.
Inspired Villages offers a wide range of housing options, starting from €269,511 (£230,000) and ranging from 1-bedroom rental apartments to 2/3-bedroom houses for sale, all set within vibrant communities carefully designed for the needs of older people and focused on promoting an active lifestyle. Offering an aspirational lifestyle choice, it aims to improve the holistic wellbeing for the over 65s and support them in living healthier, independent lives for longer so that they can remain in their own home as they age while being able to access necessary care and wellbeing services. With a strong social purpose, it is driven by the desire to keep its residents healthier and happier for longer and take the pressure off our already overstretched NHS and care services. Research shows us that gains in life expectancy are predominantly made up of years in poor health, with the proportion of life in good health remaining broadly flat; by focusing on prevention rather than cure, targeting ageing and healthspan, there are significant economic gains to be made for us all.
Robert Waugh, CEO of NWPTL, commented: “The investment potential of the later living sector is substantial as the need to support our ageing population increases. This new partnership with Legal & General and Inspired Villages aligns perfectly with our ambitions to invest in areas that present strong social and environmental credentials, whilst offering a good match for our long-dated liabilities. As Inspired Villages continues to mature and grow its portfolio, we are excited to be coming on board to support its expansion.”
Laura Mason, CEO of Legal & General Capital, said: “At Legal & General, we are determined to use society’s capital for society’s benefit. Net zero later living communities, which help to tackle climate change whilst addressing years of underinvestment in our ageing population, do just this. It is fantastic to be partnering with NatWest Group Pension Fund who are aligned in this purpose. This transaction is unique as it sees one of the largest UK pension funds investing directly into UK private social infrastructure. Broadening the range of growth assets that pension money can access is an important step forward for the UK’s growth agenda and economic future, allowing our country’s savings to support the UK in building back better, address climate change and tackle the major issues society is facing. We hope to see further deals like this follow.”
Jamie Bunce, CEO of Inspired Villages, said: “NatWest Group Pension Fund’s desire to co-invest is a fantastic testament to our company’s vision and hard work. The deal will allow us to grow at a pace so we can help thousands more over 65s enjoy healthy, independent living for longer and support our country’s overburdened health and social care system. NatWest Group Pension Fund is closely aligned with our sustainability goals, so partnering with them will allow us to continue to lead the sector, delivering net-zero carbon later living communities which will make a real difference to the way we live and age in future.”
Phil Bayliss, Chairman of Inspired Villages, commented: “Covid has shone a light on the role that later living communities play in our society, further rocket-fuelling demand for high quality, aspirational later living accommodation. Our new JV with NatWest Group Pension Fund is a tremendous validation of the growth of Inspired Villages as an operator of later living communities. Through this like-minded strategic partnership, we are able to scale our investment in this important emerging asset class, paving the way for further pension money to follow and increasing our societal impact.”