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UK Senior Living: Will It Be The Star In 2023?


UK senior care has gone to the movies in order to attract renters — but the big picture will start rolling later this year.

McCarthy Stone and partner Liberty Care Developments plan a cinema as part of a new small-scale Birmingham care cluster.

The scheme, which includes just 51 apartments and a 77-bed end of life care home, will also include a pub, planning documents reveal. The move comes as developers step up amenity provision with an eye to potential rental options.

The application is for a 2.1-acre site once occupied by a car sales business at Orphanage Road, Erdington.

Developers say the proposal will help meet the need for 1,600 sheltered/ retirement units that has been identified for Birmingham in the period from 2020 to 2040. 

The developers promise “the provision of a cinema, pub, café, visitor’s café, hair and beauty salon, garden room and large communal space to cater for residents of the care home, plus hobby rooms and communal gardens”.

The application comes as the UK senior living sector plans for growth in 2023, thanks to potential problems in the more traditional residential markets.

Land earmarked for mainstream apartments or housing could now be reallocated as senior living schemes, because specialist developers are now able to make more competitive bids.

“I think for us, some of the headwinds facing the traditional sectors could actually be a tailwind for the sector,” Tristan Capital Partners Managing Director Kristian Smyth told a Bisnow event in December 2022. “We look at the financing markets, and I think the debt funds are looking for stronger sponsors, looking for more equity, and charging more for it. I think forward fundings will largely be dormant for the next 12 to 18 months.”

The sector is also expected to move closer to a build-to-rent model, and away from apartment sales, as 2023 progresses.

The Birmingham Erdington proposal does not indicate whether the apartments are for sale or rent.