Our History

Pioneers in retirement villages

Retirement Villages was born 35 years ago after one of the company founders returned from America having seen age-exclusive retirement communities working so successfully there.

Although the guaranteed Florida sunshine was absent, the principles of an active retirement lifestyle with like-minded individuals in a safe and secure setting were largely the same.

Elmbridge Village in Cranleigh turned the idea into reality in 1981. The village delivered independent age-exclusive living in a range of apartments and bungalows. Residents were able to enjoy the communal facilities of a central clubhouse with restaurant, bar, lounge, meeting room and convenience shop.

Elmbridge Village is still believed to be the first private retirement village of its kind in the UK. The project was so successful that other villages followed in Hertfordshire initially, and then Warwickshire.

Retirement village growth plans accelerated

After a change of company ownership in 2005, further investment enabled accelerated development. In 2017, the company was acquired by AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets, on behalf of its clients, a global leader in real asset investments and the leading real estate portfolio and asset manager in Europe.

The company now has 16 villages across the southern half of the UK with five more currently in planning.

The original concept has moved on and now many villages include a range of care services, from domiciliary care and assisted living for independent residents through to specialist residential, nursing and dementia care homes. Our care services are managed and delivered by our specialist care partners.

Retirement Villages’ developments have consistently won recognition within the industry, receiving national accolades at all the major property events as well as prizes for their outstanding landscaping and gardens.

The business does not rest on its laurels though. Further investment in existing villages and exciting plans for new locations across the country continue apace.