Inspired Villages - Luxury Living at Gifford Lea

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Nestled in the heart of Cheshire’s glorious countryside, is Inspired Villages latest contemporary retirement development, Gifford Lea. Much the same as all their developments Gifford Lea is outstanding in terms of design, environment, amenities, leisure, and care. Trailblazer sat down with Jessica Bennet, Village Manager at Gifford Lea, to get the inside track on Inspired Villages and its latest development.


What sets Inspired Villages developments apart from other retirement facilities?


Our villages are quite unlike most retirement developments. We combine award-winning design, cutting edge tech, and gold-standard services with the great outdoors. Our villages are luxurious, cosmopolitan social hubs that offer a real sense of community. Furthermore, many of our retirees find our properties an attractive investment choice, and it’s a choice that allows them to maintain their independence. 


You likened your villages to social hubs. What leisure and health care services do you provide? 


We try to cater for all needs, tastes, and speeds. There are a choice of restaurants, eateries, and cafés. If residents require a little more privacy, they can always order room service. Those looking to indulge can make use of our wellness spas, relaxation pools and saunas. We have libraries, cinemas, art suites, boutiques and salons the list goes on. Those who require extra support but wish to maintain their independence can take advantage of our domestic help and laundry services etc. For those who require in-depth care, our medical facilities and on-call personnel are of the highest standard. Meaning, those who rent or buy a property at Gifford Lea can remain in their properties under most circumstances.


How are you able to cater to the broad spectrum of retirees that choose to live in an Inspired Villages development?


The wide range of properties we offer helps. Residents may want a 2- or 3-bedroom cottage, a 1 to 2-bedroom apartment or a penthouse with panoramic views. They may want to live in the thick of things or a little outside of a developments centre, whatever their preference in property, design, or layout we take care of it. As mentioned earlier, we offer rentals for those that don’t wish to buy. We also offer differing levels of care dependant on need, it’s about choice.


How Important are smart technologies in your industry?


Smart multi-connected devices have already changed the way we live. Which is why every one of our properties in every one of our developments uses smart tech. Connectivity allows us to be more efficient and our residents to live more flexibly than ever before. It’s great for keeping on top of the little things. Appointments, trips, the specials at our restaurants, upcoming events. You can’t offer a fully rounded service without smart tech. and the transformation in daily life it offers to our care assisted residents is invaluable.


Aside from Gifford Lea in Cheshire what other areas in the UK do Inspired Villages cover?


Currently, we have 7 retirement villages across the UK. You can find our developments in Warwickshire, Leeds Village Kent, Exeter, West Sussex, Hampshire and of course Cheshire.


What does the future look like for Inspired Villages and later life living overall? 


Inspired Villages has some exciting business growth and portfolio expansion plans. Baby boomers are living longer, they are healthy, active, and demand more from retirement than a spot of bingo. As such, Inspired Villages plans to develop 50 later living communities over the next 10 years. The demographic has spoken, we can’t ignore the fact that by 2025 the number of over-65’s will have increased by 25%. Inspired Villages plans to accommodate as many of them as we can. The future of later life living overall looks quite different. People no longer disengage from the workforce completely when they retire. 10 years from now it's likely 40 to 50% of those living in retirement developments will still be working. They may even be heading into a third or fourth career. The industry will have to make the necessary changes to facilitate and accommodate that. 


The relatively immature nature of the UK’s retirement sector still presents its challenges. However, Inspired Villages have managed to create a winning formula that meets the needs of today’s retirees. Inspired Villages sees retirement as a later life adventure. A chance to experience, grow, do and become. This is echoed through all their developments and Gifford Lea is no exception.

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LifestyleTim Byrne