The planners of Spain’s first gay retirement home have secured a plot of land on the outskirts of the capital city.

The December 26th Foundation plans to build the new 115-apartment complex in Rivas-Vaciamadrid.

The group is named after the 1979 date when General Franco’s anti-gay law was repealed.

Gay rights activists say that negative attitudes towards homosexuality are still common in the elderly, especially in care homes.

Jose Maria Herreras, 65, who plans to move in to an apartment on the site, said: “This is somewhere where everyone will be equal. It’s a totally different home where we won’t have to hide who we are. We will be people. I will be free again.”

Plans for the new complex, which could employ up to thirty people, include a gym, library, conference room, laundrette, shop and restaurant.

Federico Armenteros said: “We want to make sure old people who are gay can live out their lives freely with dignity and among equals.”

The home will cost 1,000 Euros a month to live in, which is substantially lower than the average Madrid price of 1,400 Euros.

He told the Guardian older gays and lesbians “come from a generation that was brought up to think that there was something filthy and wrong about homosexuality. Older gays and lesbians have had a difficult life”.

A similar gay retirement home is to be built in Victoria, Australia.

In November, a study found a third of older LGBT people feared rejection in society on account of their sexual orientation.