Press releases

Legal & General acquires Renaissance Villages from Helical and accelerates its later living housing strategy

Legal & General announces the acquisition of a later living business called Renaissance Villages (RV) for a net purchase price of around £51m from Helical Plc.

14 Nov 2017

Legal & General announces the acquisition of a later living business called Renaissance Villages (RV) for a net purchase price of around £51m from Helical Plc.  The business will be integrated into Inspired Villages Group, a best in class operator and developer of later living accommodation, which Legal & General acquired in August this year. 

The acquisition of RV allows Legal & General to accelerate its later living plans by several years, both in terms of housing delivery and operational skills. Arranged over four village schemes, located in Warwickshire, West Sussex, Devon and Hampshire, the RV business comprises of around 700 homes, of which over half are already sold and occupied, with the remainder ready for sale or under construction.  When combined, this brings Inspired Villages Group’s development portfolio to around 1,000 homes. 

Inspired Villages Group will continue to seek to acquire several land sites per year. 

Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General, says:  "This acquisition is another terrific example of Legal & General using its long term capital to address chronic market failures, by investing in a sector that delivers high social and economic impact to our society.  The UK is under increasing economic strain as populations expand and demand for housing increases.  Later Living offers industrial scale reductions in health and care costs to the elderly through prevention and avoidance; we see this housing sector as one of the most underserved in the UK and look forward to the Government engaging in positive public policy changes that help to support us in addressing this need.”
Jamie Bunce, CEO of Inspired Villages, comments:  “This acquisition provides us with further high quality schemes of a similar size and operational model to our existing and planned communities.  Built around central facilities, they are priced for a wide target market and offer an aspirational lifestyle focused on wellness.
Phil Bayliss, Head of Later Living at Legal & General Capital, says:  “Due to a scarcity of existing stock in the UK’s later living housing market, the main path to scaling our business is through organic growth.  Accelerating our business plan by several years, alongside our land acquisition targets, this acquisition provides us with the immediate critical mass to substantially expand resourcing and growth to become the market leader in the later living market.  Enhancing our offer, it provides several mature, complementary schemes and additional experienced operational resources.”  

“Inspired Villages offers a fantastic alternative for our ageing population who currently live in under-occupied, isolated or unsuitable properties with quality, well designed and serviced later living accommodation that has been proven to cut associated health costs in the elderly by around 50%.  Inspired Villages offers baby boomers more choice.  Essentially this is about the freedom and independence that comes from living in safe, age-appropriate housing as part of a community, while exploring a new phase of life without any of the maintenance burdens and with access to new interests and activities."

“This acquisition now allows us to bring forward our plans to create much needed change to the way our ageing population live. It will also enable a number of key strategic hires to our growing senior management team.” 

Keith Cockell, Chairman of Inspired Villages, says:  “We want to deliver a new forward-thinking lifestyle for older people to reflect the new needs of the community. Giving older people a safe and secure home of their own and one that is fit for purpose, at the same time we will endeavour to liberate family homes for families."

“Later living communities can make a real contribution to local NHS services by helping to reduce visits to GPs and providing a safe and caring environment for older people to return home to from hospital, therefore releasing NHS beds to those with more acute needs."

Further information:


Olivia Bayliss

Head of Communications

Capital and LGIM Real Assets

Notes to editors

Inspired Villages Group is a best in class operator and developer of later living accommodation.  Creating safe, secure, social and comfortable village environments in which residents can celebrate the freedom of later life with flexible care arrangements, Inspired Villages offer an outstanding lifestyle choice for people whose existing homes no longer suit their needs. 

With Legal & General Capital’s long term financial support, Inspired Villages will acquire several sites per year.  Creating vibrant villages on the edge of and within the UK’s towns and cities, it is looking to build where people want to live, close to family, friends and facilities. 

Its philosophy is to create beautiful homes, unique environments and thriving communities that are age appropriate and can support people in making the most of their wellbeing as they move through later life. The Chairman, and vision behind Inspired Villages, is Keith Cockell, who brings decades of experience in the conception and creation of retirement communities across the UK.  The senior management team is headed by CEO, Jamie Bunce with the core management team in place to develop and operate a significant number of new communities across the UK in the next few years.

Each village offers a wide choice of homes that will suite different lifestyles. These single level homes start from £250,000. The hub of each village is set around the village square with landscaped gardens, restaurants, gym, social activities and access to appropriate care.  The first phase of its two schemes in Warwickshire and Cheshire are now complete, with the next phase, which includes the central core facilities, currently under construction.

Legal & General in Housing

A natural evolution and fit for its multi-tenure housing investment strategy, Legal & General has been involved in supply side housing activities for nearly 20 years.  These include:

  • Bringing housing back to the centre of the UK’s cities through large scale regeneration, such as Salford, Plymouth, Liverpool, Bracknell, Newcastle and Canning Town
  • Its stake in house builder CALA Homes, which announced an annual revenue of £747.9m as at 30 June 2017 (versus £241m revenue in 2013).  CALA remains on course to deliver an annual capacity of up to 2,500 units within four years, resulting in revenue of around £1bn
  • Legal & General’s total investment capability for the Build to Rent (BTR) sector currently stands at circa £1 billion.  It has secured over a 1,700 homes under construction or in planning, with sites in Bristol, Edinburgh, Salford, Bath, Leeds and Walthamstow, with the aim to have 6,000 in planning, development or operation by the end of 2019
  • Delivering its first new housing community on a 250 acre site called Buckler’s Park in Crowthorne, Berkshire, Legal & General Homes is set to deliver 1,000 new homes, a primary school, care home, community facility and a 130 acre nature reserve which will be open for the public to enjoy 
  • Revolutionising the construction industry through its Leeds modular housing factory

It is also a significant investor in social housing, care homes and student accommodation.  This holistic approach provides Legal & General with the mechanisms to deliver high quality returns throughout market cycles by pivoting investment to where the need is greatest.

Legal & General Capital

Legal & General Capital (LGC) is the early-stage investment arm of Legal & General Group. Investing from Legal & General’s principal balance sheet, LGC’s purpose is to generate long-term shareholder value by injecting new capital into key sectors where there has been a shortage of investment and innovation.  Focused on Housing, Infrastructure (Urban regeneration and Clean Energy) and SME Finance, these key sectors reflect our aim to invest for the long term in economically and socially useful assets, to secure competitive returns and to create new asset classes for Legal & General’s varied investment requirements, for our partners and for the wider marketplace.

Legal & General Group

Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK’s leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with a number of growing businesses in the US and in other countries. At 30th June 2017, we had over £951 billion in total assets under management. Over fifteen million people worldwide rely on us to help them save for the future and to protect their families and their homes.

We work with companies and pension trustees to help people build security in retirement, being the UK’s largest investment manager for UK corporate pension schemes, a major provider of auto-enrolled pensions and a market leader in pensions de-risking.  We have also made a commitment to invest around £15 billion in direct investments, with £12 billion already invested in areas such as homes, urban regeneration, clean energy and small business finance, driving economic growth and making a positive difference to the UK’s built environment.