Inspired Villages Group has appointed Sharon Badelek as chief financial officer.

The Legal & General-backed later living business has added Badelek to the newly created position.

Badelek has over 20 years’ experience growing customer-centric businesses. In previous roles, Badelek was chief financial officer and chief executive of Novus Leisure, group finance director at Vue Entertainment, and group financial controller of Virgin Active.

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In addition, Badelek and Tom Lord, chief operating officer of Inspired Villages Group will join its board.

Lord joined the firm in September 2018 from the InterContinental Group, where he was the head of global operations, and he has over 20 years’ experience in the leisure industry.

Jamie Bunce, chief executive of Inspired Villages, said: “Badelek’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.

Badelek and Lord’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-19 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.

“Badelek’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.”