Milton Keynes Celebrates Second Retirement Village

16 March 2010

Bringing gifts representing personal recollections and local history, 100 older local residents filled and buried a ceremonial time capsule on the site of Milton Keynes' second retirement village which has just begun construction on 10 acres of land in Shenley Wood.

Shenley Development

A partnership between Milton Keynes Council, Milton Keynes Partnership, The Department of Health and The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, the new scheme opens in winter 2011. It could provide an innovative housing and lifestyle solution for some of the 200-plus older people currently on a waiting list for the partnership's Willen-based Lovat Fields Village which opened in 2007.

The first 184 Shenley Village one and two bedroom homes are due to open by winter 2011. A further 116 homes are planned as part of a second phase. Properties will be available for purchase or rent and will be affordable, even for those people living in rented property on a minimum state pension.
A qualified ExtraCare staff team will deliver up to 24-hour assessed care to a third of residents within their own village home.

Homes will surround the Village Centre with 18 leisure facilities including a restaurant, bar, Village hall, Well-being centre, IT suite, craft room and greenhouse. On and off-site activities could include singing, arts and crafts, dancing, horse riding and sailing.

The Village has received £4.875m through Milton Keynes Partnership and a further £3.5m from The Department of Health. ExtraCare is establishing a £1.2m appeal to fund The Village Centre which will provide affordable social and active opportunities for up to 500 older residents, families and community members.

Marian Joiner, from Oldbrook, is interested in moving to the Village and has even joined ExtraCare's local appeal to raise funds for the Village Centre . She comments: "I have visited many residential homes and it is clear that this village model is different. There is freedom, choice and so much to do - I have seen this for myself at Lovat Fields where people are busy and happy. Unlike many retirement schemes the Village has thriving social links to the wider community and for older people this is terribly important."

Cllr Sam Crooks, Leader of Milton Keynes Council, comments: "This is a really imaginative way of celebrating the start of our second ExtraCare Village. Our older residents are hugely important to the city and I'm delighted to see the Council thinking so positively about how people will live after retirement."

Graham Hyslop, Property Regeneration and Investment Team Leader Milton Keynes Partnership, comments: "People always think of Milton Keynes as a young city and the needs of older people can get overlooked. Developments such as this create not only much needed housing but also a vibrant community environment."

Nick Abbey, Chief Executive of The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, comments: "There are a significant number of local older people who would like to experience the lifestyle and opportunities offered at Lovat Fields Village and we have a waiting list that demonstrates this. I am delighted that our partnership will be able to help satisfy demand by providing this second Milton Keynes Village."

To find out about ExtraCare's £1.2m appeal for the second Village please contact Ann Allen on 07825171546.