03 October 2017
A new £48m retirement village has officially opened in Birmingham marking a milestone for the residents and the city.
Longbridge Retirement Village is on the site of the former Austin Rover car factory where some of the residents used to work.
It is also the fifth of five retirement villages to open in Birmingham as part of a £250m development programme between retirement charity, The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, and Birmingham City Council.
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has also provided £1.5m to support affordable housing in the development.
The village was officially opened by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street.
Hundreds of older people have moved into Longbridge Village during the summer with apartments available for outright sale, shared ownership and rent.
A specially formed heritage group, including local historians, helped to inspire the design of Longbridge Village. A replica of a Mini takes pride of place on the wall in the entrance, and street names include Metro Close and Allegro Avenue.
The village has 260 one and two bedroom apartments, and is set on five acres fronting Lickey Road on the edge of Longbridge Town Centre.
Facilities include a bar and bistro, village hall, IT suite, hair and beauty salon, gym and shop.
The ExtraCare Charitable Trust has already opened four other retirement villages in Birmingham: New Oscott, Pannel Croft in Newtown, Hagley Road Village in Edgbaston and Bournville Gardens, and has provided more than 1,000 homes across the city.
The villages integrate lifestyle, homes and care. They are transforming lives for local older people and they have also freed up much needed family housing – over 750 family homes. They have also become social hubs with facilities available to thousands of local people representing all generations across the local community.
Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for housing and homes, Cllr Peter Griffiths, said: ‘This is the largest retirement village project of its kind in the UK and these innovative communities show Birmingham leading the way for others to follow.
“Thanks to our partnership with ExtraCare, we have been able to provide thousands of quite exceptional and affordable new homes for older people across the city.
“These homes ensure residents can become more independent and increase their levels of fitness.
“They also free up much needed larger family homes across the city and help us to provide housing for a range of needs.
“I am delighted that this fifth retirement village in Longbridge is open and it’s wonderful to see at first hand the impact it has already made on people’s lives in the area. ’
ExtraCare Charitable Trust Chief Executive, Mick Laverty, said: “As a charity we’re proud that our five Birmingham villages support older people with a diverse mix of interests, circumstances and health needs.
“Many residents moving into this village have worked in Longbridge and spent their working lives supporting this city’s success. We believe these and other Birmingham residents will be able to enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle as part of a vibrant community. They deserve it.”
Longbridge Village is part of St Modwen’s £1 billion Longbridge regeneration scheme. Nearly 400 homes have been built and the town centre features retailers including Sainsbury’s, Costa Coffee, Premier Inn, Beefeater and a landmark Marks & Spencer store.
Pictured (l to r): Caroline Cormack HCA, resident Yvonne Bainbridge, Andy Street, ExtraCare CEO Mick Laverty and Cllr Peter Griffiths