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The Planning Inspectorate’s Rainbow Network is delighted to welcome Anna Kear, CEO of Tonic, to our March meeting.​uk/

Tonic is a community-led not for profit organisation, focused on creating vibrant and inclusive urban LGBT+ affirming retirement communities where people can share common experiences, find mutual support and enjoy their later life. Tonic was established in 2014 to address the issues of loneliness and isolation of older LGBT+ people and the need for specific housing and support provision.

Tonic@Bankhouse is the UK’s first LGBTQ+ affirmative retirement community that is run by and for the community. The building, which was designed by Sir Norman Foster, contains 84 affordable apartments over 14 floors, located on Albert Embankment in the iconic area of Vauxhall, Lambeth. The building also has a lounge, cafe, restaurant and roof garden and bar with riverside views. Tonic owns 19 of the apartments with One Housing managing all the rented apartments and providing the personal care and support services on-site.

Tonic focused on London for the first project as the capital has the largest older LGBT+ population in the UK, estimated to be 145,000 people. They are also working in other areas, such as Manchester, with the LGBT Foundation.

In our meeting, we shall look at the need for housing and services which actively affirm LGBT+ lives, histories and communities, and how the planning process can support the provision of accommodation and safe social spaces for older LGBT+ people.