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Balfour Beatty and Wates win retirement village jobs from Audley

Audley Retirement has appointed Wates Construction and Balfour Beatty to design and build contracts for two new developments for retired people.

Wates will build Audley Ellerslie, near Great Malvern in a £28m contract, while Balfour Beatty will build the £37m Redwood village near Bristol.

Audley owns 12 villages and manages two more providing more than 1,000 properties, and intends to double this total over five years.

The company said its turnover grew from £4.2m to £42.9m between 2009 and 2015 and it will invest £600m over the next five years, in a combination of equity, development income and investment debt.

Development director Kevin Shaw said: “These instructions demonstrate our continued commitment to meeting demand for quality, luxury retirement living; demand which is only increasing.”

Wates has already built two villages for Audley, at Chalfont Dene, Buckinghamshire and Binswood Hall (pictured), in Leamington Spa. Balfour Beatty is working on Audley’s St George’s Place project in Birmingham.

A 2014 report by think tank Demos said some eight million people aged over 60 were interested in ‘downsizing’ to homes designed for retirement living, and that if even only half did so this could free up 3.5m homes, some two thirds of which would be family accommodation with three or more bedrooms.

It said the number of homes specifically designed for retired people had though fallen from 30,000 a year in the 1980s to around 8,000.

The Demos report the Affordability of Retirement Housing, said 83 per cent of people aged over 60 were owner occupiers and in most regions around half of them could afford a purpose-built retirement apartment or bungalow.

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