A contemporary retirement village offering affordable accommodation for older people looking to lead independent, socially active lives has opened in Surrey, thanks to seven figure loan funding from Charity Bank and Unity Trust Bank.
Nonsuch Abbeyfield in Ewell consists of 60 one and two-bedroom apartments within a three-storey complex which includes a restaurant, bar, cinema room, fitness suite and convenience store.
The multi-million pound development was the brainchild of Abbeyfield Southern Oaks, a not-for-profit provider of supported living, and was built on a disused sports ground which has been revamped as part of the project.
Mary Boorman, Trustee at Abbeyfield Southern Oaks said: “The land we purchased makes up -12 acres and while the village uses up a quarter of the site, the rest is taken up by new, improved sports pitches which we’ve leased to Epsom Sports Club. It’s a win-win for the whole community.
“We wanted to build a retirement village that was more forward thinking in terms of what older people are looking for today.
“Nonsuch is a very grown-up place, a real retirement community where care can be accessed from an outside provider and is very much a step away from the care home model.
“People can be by themselves, or they can join in activities. It’s a place that respects the ageing process, is maintenance free and allows people to become healthier, more mobile and enjoy life.”
Nonsuch Abbeyfield is now fully occupied. Thirty-six apartments were sold targeting middle income residents in the local area and 24 are allocated for affordable rent.
Mary said: “Both Charity Bank and Unity Trust Bank were extremely easy to work with and very professional, including our bank managers –Adam Ruffinato from Charity Bank and Matthew Conroy from Unity. They understood our processes and any issues we had during construction.
“There needs to be a certain amount of flexibility on both sides, and complete trust and openness is important. They were very supportive and when we find the opportunity to do another community development, we would love to do it with the same banks.”
Adam Ruffinato, National Lending Manager at Charity Bank, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to see Nonsuch Abbeyfield develop into a flourishing retirement village. With all our loans we ensure that social impact is at the heart of the project, and that’s exactly what the Abbeyfield team have achieved here.
Mary and the team have worked tirelessly to create a place their residents can call home which is built for the modern age and truly integrated into the community.”
Matthew Conroy, Regional Director at Unity Trust Bank, said: “We work with organisations that deliver impact in local communities.
“Abbeyfield Southern Oaks’ Nonsuch development not only provides very high quality, affordable living but it promotes older people’s health and wellbeing.
“We were delighted to support this project and the enhanced sporting facilities will benefit the whole area.
“The board and project delivery team overcame some quite serious challenges, not least going to market just before the first pandemic lockdown, to deliver a truly successful and inspiring scheme”