Sharon Badelek

Inspired Villages Group, the Legal & General-backed later living business, has appointed Sharon Badelek as chief financial officer, in a newly created position.

Badelek will lead a team of 18 finance and investment professionals, and work closely with group finance manager Tatiana Smith who joined the business in March.

Badelek has more than 20 years’ experience of the UK retail, leisure and healthcare sectors.  She was previously chief financial officer and chief executive of Novus Leisure, which operates at over 40 venues across the UK, group finance director at Vue Entertainment, , as well as group financial controller of Virgin Active and chief financial officer of Westpoint Veterinary Group.

Sharon join the Inspired Villages’ main board along with the company’s chief operating officer, Tom Lord, who joined the business in September 2018 from the InterContinental Group, where he was the head of global operations. Lord has more than 20 years’ experience in the leisure industry. 

Inspired Villages, which was established by Legal & General in 2017, has grown in the past two years from a team of 25 to around 300 employees, with capital commitments of half a billion pounds across its six later living developments. It states it wants to add a further 2,500 homes over the next six years. Its seventh village, Ledian Gardens in Kent, is set to open next year, with construction under way on an eighth village, Elderswell in Bedfordshire, and works due to start on a further four schemes next year.

Inspired Villages,’ chief executive Jamie Bunce said: “Sharon’s appointment comes at a crucial time for the company. Her business acumen and strong customer-centric approach will be integral to our continued growth. Sharon and Tom’s board appointments will further support the company’s purpose of redefining the later living experience in this country and making a significant contribution to the overall strategic direction of Inspired Villages.”

Phil Bayliss, chief executive of Later Living at Legal & General, added: “Covid has shone a light on the clear and pressing need to support our over-65s population, safeguarding them, and reliving the burden on our overwhelmed NHS and social care systems. We all want and deserve to live healthier, better and more independent lives for longer. Sharon’s appointment is a response to Inspired Villages’ fast paced growth and societal need. Alongside Tom’s, her wealth of experience from growing hospitality and leisure businesses will prove extremely valuable to the company’s strategic direction.”

Date published: November 16, 2020