It’s very much that time of year again. Time to reflect on the year that has passed, and plan for 2024 and all it holds. And it’s a year I am looking forward to.
For Audley, 2023 has passed in a whirlwind of new villages, from openings to new site acquisitions. Mayfield Watford, our first Mayfield village, officially opened at the start of the year and Audley Wycliffe Park, our second village in Buckinghamshire, welcomed new owners just before Christmas. We announced Mayfield Brent Cross mid-way through the year, work is nearly complete at Audley Scarcroft Park, and the team has been busy readying one our newest sites, Headley Court, for works to start. That’s one of our many villages with real history, and the work will include a stunning restoration to the Grade II listed historic mansion house and its extensive grounds.
Alongside this, we have been forging a path for the sector, with the creation of new innovative financing agreements with our partners which Gary Burton has written more about; we’re very proud to be breaking ground in more ways than one in our market.
My wish, as we start 2024, is that all of this work puts the framework in place for the rapid expansion of the sector, to give more people more choice over how and where they live in retirement. We’ve spoken about this need for a long time, but I truly believe that we are edging closer to a real step change in the retirement living market.
For us at Audley Group, 2024 will be the year that we tell you more about our health and wellbeing proposition. In the week before Christmas we announced the appointment of our new Health & Wellbeing Director and there is more to come. Ensuring that our property owners can live well for longer is central to what we do. It’s something I speak to many of our owners about, most recently on my Christmas tour of the villages, and I hear amazing stories from them about the activities they are involved in, how they have improved their wellbeing, and what their plans for the future are.
I also look forward to being able to share more about the work that has been going on behind the scenes in the coming year. In 2023 I joined the cross-departmental Housing with Care taskforce, alongside many leading industry experts, and in 2024 we will be able to share more on our recommendations to increase the supply of age specific housing in the UK. From more consumer protections, to planning reform, I am certain that recommendations will result in real change.
And that may well be a theme for the year – change. With an election on the horizon, there may be change afoot, but I am confident that Audley Group will continue to prosper. And much of that is down to the people who live and work in our villages and make Audley and Mayfield the successes that they are. The village teams are embracing the start of a New Year with much excitement about the year ahead and it’s fantastic to see.
2024 is set to be another milestone year for Audley and the sector, and I look forward to all that it will bring.