M&G invests in Bridges’ pioneering Birchgrove platform

We’re pleased to announce that Birchgrove, our pioneering ‘assisted living for rent’ platform, has agreed to sell its first two sites (in Sidcup and Woking) to global asset manager M&G for £69m.

Demand for high-quality assisted living accommodation in the UK is rising, given the country’s ageing population and the limited availability of retirement living options.

Bridges launched Birchgrove in 2017 to provide senior people with an accessible rental model that enables them to maintain independence and enjoy the benefits of a community – without the burden of property ownership. Birchgrove apartments also include on-site care support and leisure facilities for residents.

M&G has described this as “the first phase of a long-term partnership that could deliver more than £200 million of purpose-built communities over the next five years”. The Birchgrove team will continue to operate the Sidcup and Woking sites via a management fee arrangement, while M&G is also keen to acquire future Birchgrove sites. We currently have four in development: in Ewell (which is due to open this year), Banstead, Godalming and Leatherhead.

In total, these six sites will provide over 300 units of care accommodation for the ill and elderly. They will also be built to exacting environmental standards: our first site in Sidcup achieved an EPC rating of ‘A’, and has been designed to reduce CO2 emissions in operation by >35% vs. a standard new-build property.

Honor Barratt, Managing Director, Birchgrove, said: “In Bridges Fund Management, Birchgrove has always had a partner who believes wholeheartedly in the value of achieving better outcomes for our residents and for the planet.

“We’re delighted to be entering into this long-term partnership with M&G, which will allow us to move forward on an even stronger, more sustainable footing. That will not only benefit Birchgrove’s existing residents; it will also enable us to build and operate more beautiful homes and communities for those of us who want to join our quiet rental revolution.”