RBLI Centenary Village

One hundred years of the Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) supporting veterans and the disabled called for a major celebration. The result is the £22m Centenary Village project, designed by Canterbury-based Clague Architects, which will deliver wrap-around welfare support and accommodation for another 100 veterans. Working with the military charity, Clague designed the assisted-living accommodation, family homes and apartments alongside a new community hub for residents.

Working closely with RBLI we delivered a design for a Centenary Village in response to a very clear and focused brief: ‘create the best for our veterans and lay the foundations for the second century of RBLI’s important work’.

Adjacent to a busy road, the project demanded a strong and robust frontage for the new RBLI village, while at the same time ensuring residents were able to live in a relatively peaceful setting.

The result will be an imposing entrance onto the existing tree-lined Hermitage Lane. At the centre of the site, the new homes will be built around a Georgian-inspired circus and central green space, with avenues leading to the other apartments and homes.

The Centenary Village will include 22 apartments, each designed to be fully accessible and house single veterans in urgent need, alongside 16 new family homes, and a further 24 assisted-living apartments. The new residential development which will also include a state-of-the-art community hub with accessible gym, is close to the existing village, care homes and manufacturing facility in Kent.

Recognising the individual needs of the people who will live there led us to design an environment offering tranquillity and space into the scheme for the residential development. The need to provide accommodation for veterans who are either wounded, injured, sick, or at risk of homelessness, is a priority for RBLI.

We used our experience in designing housing schemes for people of all ages and needs to earlier bring forward plans for Victory House and Invictus Games House – the first phase of the Centenary Village – and this is now the benchmark for its residential developments.

The £22m fundraising campaign has secured £750,000 financial commitment from the country’s biggest housebuilder Barrett Developments Plc; a further £250,000 from Annington, and £2m from Greenwich Hospital, the Crown charity which can trace its history back to 1694.

Work is expected to begin soon on the second phase of the Centenary Village.