Guild Living submits plans for Bath city centre community.

  • The 317 homes planned will free up existing housing stock for families and first-time buyers
  • On-site facilities such as a nursery will be open for the public to use to create an intergenerational community
  • Transitional beds and support services provided by Guild Living will ease the burden on NHS

Guild Living, Legal & General’s urban retirement housing business, has lodged plans to regenerate a former retail site in Bath city centre to create a new type of retirement living development that puts older people back into the heart of communities.

The mixed-use development will be one a new generation of later living schemes located on a UK high street, helping drive footfall during the day thanks to the various facilities being created.  Guild Living will develop and then manage the mixed-use scheme, overseeing housing, care and the various health, wellbeing and leisure facilities. In a first for Britain’s nascent later living sector, all of the additional facilities will be open for the community to use.

In partnership with Legal & General, one of the UK’s most trusted institutions, Guild Living will help older people live better. Uniquely, the company is focused on city centres in order to reinstate older people back into the heart of communities. By living alongside families and being located above a nursery, gym and various dining and leisure facilities, residents can maintain their independence.

Guild Living’s plans, submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council, will rework the former Homebase overlooking the River Avon into a mixed-use development, blending 317 homes with tailored care options, supporting residents’ health needs. Uniquely, the site will combine multi-generational facilities – a nursery for young children – following research from Harvard, that shows clear benefits to older people from supporting younger folk.

Another first for Bath will be support for the NHS through the inclusion of transitional beds and step-down services – enabling hospital patients to staircase back into their homes – reducing the demands on the local NHS by 30 percent.

Shared facilities include a fitness centre, nursery, community cafe, cinema, library and crafts space, alongside shops, and a multi-faith room. Guild Living’s on-site staff will also curate social events and activities.

With a mix of outward-facing facilities, the scheme is designed to drive footfall in support of local businesses. The development itself encourages interaction between different age groups, offering connected walkways and open green spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Crucially, Guild Living’s development will help free up much-needed family housing, contributing towards B&NES’ five-year housing supply. The plans also fall in line with the council’s Placemaking Plan by creating an attractive new townscape and public realm that enhances the relationship between the city and the river.

Eugene Marchese, co-founder and director at Guild Living said: “We cared for people differently in the past because we either lived together or lived around the corner, we used to be able to pop-in and engage with older people in the family. Nobody – no matter their age – wants to live in isolated villages or feel like they exist in a silo. There is a severe lack of quality housing for those entering what I would call the “third age”, so it comes as no surprise that so few British people live in dedicated later living homes.

“We need to be confident that by encouraging someone to move out of the security of their home that they feel safe in their new accommodation. By building these communities in vibrant, urban locations, creating facilities that everyone can use and providing the care and support when it is needed, we can drastically improve the quality of life for our elderly.”

Michael Eggington, co-founder and CEO of Guild Living said: “With an ageing population and a growing social care crisis, it’s clear that the demand for later living will exponentially increase. But it isn’t simply about the strong economic case of preventing hospital stays and keeping people active – it’s about the social benefits to communities and the human cost of not doing this. Together with Legal & General, we are planning on creating real mixed-use, intergenerational communities across the country where there is real demand from existing homeowners. Our ambition is to offer choices which can support the lifestyle and care needs of our residents.”