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Sell-out Success for Inaugural ARCO Conference


A packed room for the ARCO conference

On 6 July 2016 ARCO (Associated Retirement Community Operators) was pleased to hold their inaugural conference – ‘What Next? Shaping the Future of Retirement Communities in the UK’ – at the Congress Centre in central London. It was a sell-out event, with close to 300 delegates and exhibitors registered to attend the main conference day, and 77 for the additional Knowledge Exchange Day of workshops and tours which took place on 7 July. Delegates included senior executives from both extra care housing and private retirement village operators, public sector stakeholders, and suppliers and investors with an interest in this growing sector. The conference was sponsored by Nicol Thomas, Castleoak, JLL, ENS, and Trowers & Hamlins.

Following a welcome from Baroness Sally Greengross, ARCO’s newly announced patron, the conference began with an inspirational keynote speech from Professor Alexandre Kalache. Kalache is former head of the WHO Global Programme on Ageing and current co-president of the International Longevity Centre Global-Alliance. His engaging and touching speech encouraged delegates to view both the broad structural context of the ‘longevity revolution’, and older people’s individual and varied stories and needs.

The morning went on to feature a panel session on dementia, and an insightful presentation from CQC and ensuing discussion about the future regulatory landscape for housing-with-care. During this the audience voted for their preferred regulatory framework for the sector, with 56 per cent in favour of the creation of a new special regulated category for ‘housing with care’. This indicative snapshot provides food for thought for future regulation, although a decision on this from CQC and the government is likely to be several years away.

The morning concluded with the second keynote presentation of the day, from Dr Margaret Wylde. A self-proclaimed “data dog”, Dr Wylde emphasised the value of market data to sector growth, painted a vivid picture of the very different large-scale ‘senior living’ market in the US, and challenged delegates to question assumptions about what older people really want when it comes to senior living.


CQC Voting Poll Results PNG

Results from the regulation discussion audience vote


Delegates enjoying the day at ARCO’s conference

Following a delicious lunch, and a moving presentation from James Greenshields from Tonic Housing, the afternoon sessions honed in on the funding context and business cases, starting with a series of presentations from Law Commissioner Stephen Lewis, Jeremy Porteus from Housing LIN, and Anthony Oldfield and Phil Schmid from JLL.


After the presentation of detailed case studies from Bruce Moore from Housing & Care 21, Mark Curran from ExtraCare Charitable Trust, and Paul Morgan from Audley, and a final panel debate reflecting on the day, the conference concluded with the ARCO Drinks Reception. This was sponsored by Nicol Thomas, and saw over 150 delegates enjoying themselves and networking well into the evening.

The Knowledge Exchange Day on Thursday continued on a high from the main conference, with delegates enjoying engaging workshops and exclusive tours to some of the most innovative retirement communities in and around London.

Click here to view our Storify story of key tweets from the day.

Click here to find out more about ARCO membership.

Presentations were emailed to all delegates. Please email events@arcouk.org for more information about the 2016 conference, or information about next year’s event.



Conference photo highlights

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ARCO’s Inaugural conference – New speakers and final programme announced

We are pleased to announce new speakers and the full programme for ARCO’s inaugural conference What Next? Shaping the Future of Retirement Communities in the UK.

Speakers now confirmed for the day include:

  • Professor Alexandre Kalache, Co-President of the ILC Global Alliance and former head of the WHO Global Programme on Ageing. who will be giving a keynote speech titled Living Longer, Living Well.
  • Dr Margaret Wylde, a leading analyst and commentator on the senior living market in the United States, who will be drawing out lessons for UK operators in our second keynote speech.
  • Jeremy Hughes CBE, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, who will be on our Dementia Debate panel discussing the challenges of dementia with other eminent sector colleagues.
  • Frances Smethurst, Head of Adult Social Care Policy at CQC, who will be discussing their recent focus on ‘housing-with-care’ settings.
  • Law Commissioner Stephen Lewis and Jeremy Porteus of the Housing LIN, who are both part of a session looking at the key drivers around private and social sector funding, including event fees and the LHA cap.
  • Bruce Moore, Chief Executive of Housing & Care 21, Mark Curran, Development and Sales Director at The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, and Paul Morgan, Operations Director at Audley  who will all be presenting case studies of how their organisations are responding to challenges and meeting the needs of different sections of the market.

View speaker bios and the full programme.

The conference will be followed by an optional Knowledge Exchange Day on 7 July. In addition to exclusive study tours that showcase some of the most innovative and high quality retirement villages and extra care schemes in the sector, the day will include various workshops. Delegates will be able to choose from newly confirmed workshop topics including:

  • Staff recruitment and retention in housing-with-care settings
  • Assistive technology – the latest thinking
  • Event fee business models and valuations
  • Designing for the middle market
  • Retirement communities for market rent – a gap in the market? 
  • Scanning the horizon – policy update

Reserve your place today to avoid disappointment.

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ARCO’s Inaugural Conference announced

ARCO is delighted to announce our inaugural conference, which will be taking place in Central London on 6 July 2016.

Under the theme What next? Shaping the future of retirement communities in the UK, the conference will shine a light on the main challenges and opportunities facing the extra care and retirement villages sector today and in the future.

With distinguished guest speakers from Brazil and the United States, as well as UK operators, regulators, and policy makers, What next? will provide an opportunity for stakeholders in the fields of housing, health, care and ageing to step away from their daily roles and gain a unique and in-depth insight into some of the fundamental issues affecting the sector, such as:

  • What next – for new developments? What will retirement communities of the future look like? Where will they be built, and how high will they need to go?
  • What next – for tomorrow’s customers? What will they want from a retirement community? How do existing schemes adapt, and what will new ones need to offer?
  • What next – for business models and the shape of the sector? As extra care starts feeling the squeeze of central government budgets, and clarity on ‘event fees’ looks increasingly likely, will we see a concerted expansion of the ‘middle market’?
  • What next – for close care providers? Will ‘close care’ apartments reinvent themselves as ‘mini retirement villages’, establishing a new form of provision in the UK?
  • What next – for regulation? Will regulators such as CQC, the CMA and others create a new asset class by default, by introducing sector-specific regulation?

The conference will be followed by an optional Knowledge Exchange Day on 7 July. This will involve workshops on topics such as design, land acquisition, marketing, legal structures and communication systems – as well as exclusive study tours that showcase some of the most innovative and high quality retirement villages and extra care schemes in the sector.

Please view our dedicated conference website for more information and to register to attend.

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