• Retirement Village Group (RVG) launches Thrive Living collection, to “transform” the sector and accelerate positive ageing opportunities in the UK
  • The firm plans to develop 40 Thrive Living communities within the next decade,
  • The model enables older people to live independently, remain active for longer, and can help unlock housing supply, ease social care pressure, and regenerate town centres
  • The first five Thrive Living communities are developing at pace across the UK, including in Surrey, Cheshire, Kent, and Greater London
  • RVG simultaneously announces a £100m investment in its existing villages

Retirement Villages Group (RVG), owned by AXA IM Alts, has revealed the concept for its future collection of Integrated Retirement Communities, which it says will deliver the critical change needed to cater for the UK’s growing, ageing population.

Thrive Living is largely an urban or peri-urban concept which aims to regenerate local communities and town centres around the UK for the benefit of all who live there, while providing an attractive lifestyle choice for older people who want an active, sociable, and connected life for longer.

The first Thrive Living community, Botanical Place, with 196 apartments, is under construction at West Byfleet in Surrey and building work has also recently begun at a second location in Boughton Heath, Chester, delivering 155 apartments. Planning consent was recently granted for a third site at Tunbridge Wells, Kent while the planning application at West Malling is expected to be approved imminently. Both sites are programmed to commence construction works within the next year. The fifth proposed Thrive Living community is situated in Chigwell. Negotiations to acquire the site have recently been successfully concluded and the process of pursuing a planning approval has just started.

RVG is seeking to invest in the development of 40 Thrive Living IRCs across the UK within the next decade, creating 5,000 new homes, with an end value of £2 billion. No other operator/developer in the sector has this level of stated ambition. The Thrive Living communities are also market leading in terms of their sustainability credentials. Each has been, and will be, designed to be whole of life net zero carbon across their entire development and operational lifespans, the gold standard.

The new developments, being rolled out nationally, are designed to meet the needs of a new generation of older people, who are ageing differently and have distinctive expectations of later life. 

RVG pioneered the development of IRCs in the UK and is one of the country’s largest operators. Thrive Living is building on RVG’s 40 years of experience to set new standards for the sector and to tackle complex social challenges relating to age-related stigma, community breakdown and a gridlocked housing market.

At the same time as committing to ambitious growth via the Thrive Living collection, RVG is announcing over £100m investment in its existing portfolio of communities.  Plans are already well underway to not only provide additional homes but also significantly enhance the customer amenities including much improved restaurants, cafes, bistro, and wellbeing facilities. This will enable positive active lifestyle opportunities for all the resident customers.

With people living longer in retirement, all regions in the UK are projected to have a greater proportion of people aged 65 years and over by mid-2028, according to the Office of National Statistics. The Thrive Living collection not only addresses supply issues for appropriate retirement housing and increase choice, but also creates opportunities to unlock the housing market more generally.

Each Thrive Living location puts community, choice, and wellbeing firmly centre stage. They are designed with amenities and outdoor spaces that are open to the local neighbourhood.  This brings everyone together securing a positive contribution to not only local life but its economy too.

Will Bax, Chief Executive of Retirement Villages Group comments: 

“Today marks not only a huge day for Retirement Villages Group, but also, an incredible turning point for the sector. Our team is using their decades of experience to set new standards, and build state-of-the-art, sustainable communities that are connected to thriving local centres, to revolutionise independent retirement communities.

“We’re incredibly excited for Thrive Living and the essential change it can drive in this country, helping address the national housing supply shortage whilst regenerating town centres. But, most of all, we are committed to rolling it out at a scale that will enable thousands of older people to live amazing, purposeful lives, as active members of thriving local communities, for many years to come.”