Jane Barker, Managing Director, Brio Retirement Living
The retirement communities we are developing will have a positive impact on their surroundings, complementing and reviving existing town and villages, and ultimately adding value to the area they are located.
I have worked in the retirement and care sector for several years and I strongly believe retirement communities and their homeowners are a genuine boost for the towns and villages where they are located.
Brio is currently developing several retirement communities in hand-picked, desirable locations that range from a picturesque Cotswold town to a new town in Aberdeenshire to an urban London Borough. At first glance these may appear diverse locations, but the one thing they all have in common is community.
A part of Brio’s vision is that our retirement communities do not operate in isolation. We are not gated communities where our homeowners live their lives behind closed doors.
On the contrary, they will be an integral part of a wider community, where homeowners can access local shops, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, open spaces, clubs and societies, and where they can foster links with local schools and community groups.
This not only promotes community cohesion and intergenerational living, but it also helps combat isolation, loneliness and boredom which sadly many older people often experience.
There are also obvious economic benefits. Brio retirement communities are occupied with retirees who have sold up and bought their own home, often right-sizing from a larger property in the area. Not only does this provide them with the right size of home for this stage of their life, it also makes more family-sized housing available in areas where there is often a high demand.
Increasingly, the modern retiree is more independent and seeking an improved lifestyle during their later years. These baby boomers have spending power and will significantly boost the local economy with the retirement pound being spent in shops, pursuing leisure activities and supporting charitable causes.
With a lot of free time on their hands they also have a lot to offer at a grass route level too – seeking out volunteering opportunities, fundraising activities and even part-time jobs.
While younger generations are out at work and busy raising families, active retirees are becoming the life force of local communities.
In Stow-on-the-Wold, where Brio is developing Beechwood Park we have fostered a strong relationship with North Cotswold Rotary, so Brio and our future homeowners can get involved and support local community events and initiatives.
Whereas in Chapelton, a new town being built just a short drive from Aberdeen, we are building Landale Court which will be right at the heart of this new town surrounded by family homes, schools, shops, restaurants and open space.
At Brio we are passionate about creating connected communities. Onsite facilities such as the Slate and Grain Brasserie and the fitness suite will be open to the wider community.
Currently there are around 75,000 people living in retirement communities in the UK and by international standards retirement living is still in its infancy.
However, it is the vision of the Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) to have 250,000 people living in retirement communities by 2030. We support this vision are look forward to seeing retirement communities grow and enhance the places where they are located.