SCOTLAND’s first co-living community for older divorcees and widowers is set to be built by the end of next year.
The plans for the development, a first in the UK, have been praised by campaigners who say it could lead to happier and longer lives for those over 50.
The developer behind the project hopes to have new homes up and running for around 60-90 over 50s by the end of 2018.
The scheme is based on similar American models, and is aimed at active divorcees, those who were widowed young and others who would enjoy the social side of sharing a space, but are not ready for the regimen of retirement housing.
The community is set to be built on a site in Bearsden, near Glasgow, where residents will pay around £150 a week to stay in hotel style rooms.
The rooms will include a kitchenette, but communal amenities will include a cinema, a library and a restaurant – where residents can hire a chef for private dinner parties.
Campaigners welcomed the move which they said could help people live longer, happier lives by reducing loneliness among the growing ageing population.
Structured Housing Group (SHG), is set to secure planning permission to build the complex and build the high quality communal apartment blocks.
Craig Inglis, SHG chief executive, said: “This is about enjoying a stage of your life with similar people. I think there is a real demand from those in their 50s and 60s, a lot of whom are widowed and or divorced and feel lonely, but who don’t need care.
“At the moment people stay in their own home when they don’t need all that space and go into a nursing home when they need care.”
Keith Robson, Age Scotland chief executive for charity services, said that the charity is “delighted to see projects such as this which bring people together and create a sense of community.”
Other communal living apartment blocks are due to be developed by SHG in London, Manchester and Plymouth, backed by a £1bn investment from a Chicago-based developer, Harrison Street.
Some will be designed for the over-50s, while others will be aimed at workers on short-term contracts.