A £40 million funding injection will help accelerate the delivery of a new retirement village in Watford.

The Government housing agency Homes England has announced the loan will go towards the construction of 255 retirement homes at Watford Riverwell.

Mayfield Watford has been described by developers Audley Group as a "luxury retirement village" which is being built near Watford General Hospital.

Alongside the 255 properties will be a bar, bistro, swimming pool, village hall, fitness rooms, and spa.

Speaking about the funding, which has come from the £4.5 billion Home Building Fund, Homes England chief executive Peter Denton said: "First and foremost, this will enable hundreds of later life customers to enjoy high-quality, independent living accommodation for years to come.

"The area will benefit from enhanced care provision and family homes will be freed up for the next generation.

"Our loan directly addresses market funding challenges due to the pandemic and highlights our commitment to ensuring diverse communities."

Nick Sanderson, chief executive of the Audley Group, said: "The transaction with Homes England is an important milestone for the retirement living sector. A coming of age. Government backing underlines the importance placed on increasing provision in the retirement living sector and developing more innovative housing solutions.

"Our aspiration to transform retirement is shared with both Homes England and BlackRock Real Assets and this will be the focus as we look to the future."

Homes England says a shortage of family homes is often attributed partly to a "lack of quality retirement homes for older people".

The agency added the retirement village in Watford will provide independent homes with care provision included and will free up family-sized homes for new generations to enjoy.