October 4 2013.

The UK population over the age of 65 is projected to increase by 51% over the next 20 years as people are living longer. Yet, there remains a substantial shortage of good quality care provision. In response to this continuing concern BEN, the automotive industry charity, has embarked on a pioneering new development at its Lynwood Care Centre, in Sunninghill, near Ascot. This project will deliver a world class care facility which will ensure those connected to the industry, or their immediate dependents, have access to care of the highest quality both in the short and long term.

BEN's mission is to provide for the current and future needs of those associated with the automotive industry. With this in mind, delivering a range of welfare support services, relevant to the changing needs in society, remains at its core. Alongside this, BEN's direct provision of care services has never been more necessary, with the number of people with dementia predicted to increase by 35% by 2025 and the highly variable quality of care available in general. In response, the charity has obtained planning consent to replace its current Care Centre, which has served the industry well for over 60 years, with a state-of-the-art retirement community - Lynwood Village - incorporating a new 93-bed Care Centre plus a range of leasehold apartments and cottages, all with access to superb on site facilities. In scoping out this innovative and market leading project BEN retained highly regarded consultants with knowledge of best practice from around the world.

BEN has secured a loan to fund the construction work and awarded a design-and-build contract to Willmott Dixon. Work on site has now commenced with the first phase, which prioritises the new Care Centre, due to be completed by October 2014. Maintaining, and increasing, BEN's capacity to provide care to those from the industry was vital and in addition to nursing care, the new Lynwood Centre will focus on dementia care. There will also be provision for younger, physically disabled residents and those requiring respite care and/or rehabilitation.

Commenting on the impact of the development Jenny Brown, BEN's Director of Care Services, said: "Providing continuity of care for our existing residents was a key consideration and we have phased the development to enable us to operate the current Lynwood Care Centre until the new facility becomes available."

David Main, BEN's Chief Executive added: "This project is part of an overall strategy to totally transform BEN and its services for the industry over the next decade. Changes in society will always impact on our automotive community and at BEN we constantly review our services and resources to ensure we are best placed to deliver the support needed. In planning the development we have maximised the value of the asset we have in our 20-acre site. Sales of the apartments and cottages will allow us to repay the funding for the construction of the new Care Centre and to help fund future service developments in a way that would not have been possible without such an innovative approach. In delivering our current and extensive welfare services we are, and will remain, hugely dependent on the support we receive from all sections within the automotive industry."