New Waverley development in Edinburgh sold to Legal & General

Legal & General has secured the development on behalf of Legal & General Retirement, which invests in high-quality, long-term UK assets that generate income streams that match its commitments to pensioners.

CGI of a street

The deal follows a pre-let agreement announced in July 2017 with the UK Government to create a new office hub at New Waverley, moving some 2,900 civil service jobs into the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.

The Grade A office development is expected to complete in June 2019 and will include HMRC, which will run one of their 13 regional centres from New Waverley, under the terms of a 25-year lease.

The new Government office hub is set to continue the momentum of New Waverley’s current development phase which will see the high quality office space blend with restaurants, cafes and shops around a new public square. 

Representing Legal & General’s fourth Government hub forward funding deal, it follows the acquisition of 3 Glass Wharf, an 107,000 sq ft building in Bristol city centre, 265,976 sq ft of office space at Legal & General and Rightacres’ Central Square scheme in Cardiff, as well as, most recently, 270,000 sq ft at the India Buildings in Liverpool.

Adam Kerr, Head of Annuity Transactions, LGIM Real Assets, said: “This is a great deal for us and will have a meaningful impact on this area of Edinburgh, creating new jobs and driving economic growth. This Government letting will ensure that this heritage asset is redeveloped to the highest standard and will reinvigorate this part of the city centre, blending in with the surrounding landscape which has already undergone regeneration with a new public square.”

Welcoming the deal, Artisan’s projects director Clive Wilding said: “This transaction reflects the strong income stream, covenant strength and rare prime city centre development opportunity offered by New Waverley. It also shows the value we have added by the strong sense of place-making already established at New Waverley. 

“The risk-free nature of the income streams from the UK Government lease and guarantee has attracted significant interest from large institutional investors. The disposal facilitates the recycling of capital into further opportunities as part of Artisan’s stated investment strategy.”

Artisan’s £200 million, 7.5 acre mixed-use scheme seamlessly links Waverley Station with the city’s iconic Royal Mile, forming part of the Old Town’s UNESCO World Heritage site. During the last two years, New Waverley has delivered 400 hotel rooms, including two Whitbread hotels – a Premier Inn and a Hub by Premier Inn - and an Adagio Aparthotel overlooking the Royal Mile.

Edinburgh’s New Waverley - The Facts

  • Delivered by Artisan Real Estate Investors, the £200 million New Waverley development occupies a 7.5 acre site in the city’s Canongate area, linking Waverley Station to the Royal Mile and lying at the heart of the Capital’s historic centre and the UNESCO World Heritage site  
  • Construction started in 2015 with the initial phase delivering two Whitbread Hotels on East Market Street – a Premier Inn and Hub by Premier Inn – with a combined total of 248 rooms. This was the first Hub by Premier Inn (Whitbread’s innovative new boutique hotel format) to be launched outside of London.
  • The second development phase started in 2017 which includes two office buildings providing 190,000 sq. ft. of high-quality grade A office space, 148 apartments and new retail businesses including shops, restaurants and cafes.  
  • The 146-apartment Adagio Aparthotel was completed in late 2016 and faces directly on to the Royal Mile. The four-storey Adagio has been painstakingly constructed behind an existing façade of two 1930s tenement buildings - one of which is the C-listed Sailors Ark building, formerly an ex-serviceman’s hostel which helped feed the city’s homeless before and after the Second World War.   
  • A new £2 million football pitch-sized public square opened in December 2016 becoming the first significant public space to open in the city centre for more than 50 years. The square is linked to the Royal Mile by a cleverly designed covered walkway inspired by the Old Town’s historic ‘Wynds’.
  • Development will start in late 2017 of The C-listed red sandstone Canongate Venture building, one of Edinburgh’s last remaining ‘School Board’ designs of the late-Victorian era, which will become a 21-room luxury aparthotel, managed by Apple Apartments.
  • The Waverley Arches are a row of 19 newly renovated Victorian arches on East Market Street, which were originally constructed in 1875 to create double-height openings beneath the city’s Jeffrey Street. 
  • The Arches now provide something completely different for the city, accommodating some of the most exciting new independent operators to be found anywhere in the UK - whether it’s cutting edge retail and leisure venues, or unique cafes and restaurants.

The New Waverley offices will be arranged across two linked buildings providing some 190,000 sq. ft. of space and offering the highest levels of sustainability and operational efficiency. Employees will benefit from modern, well-lit Grade A office space with added staff amenities including a landscaped roof area providing sweeping views across the Waverley Valley. Work on the office development is currently underway and is due to be completed in summer 2019.

New Waverley has won three place-making awards in 2017 – including best regeneration project for both the Scottish Property Awards and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards.

Further Information

Olivia Bayliss

Olivia Bayliss

Head of Communications

Capital and LGIM Real Assets

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Notes to Editors:

For more information about the progress of New Waverley visit

About LGIM Real Assets

LGIM Real Assets is a division of Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), one of Europe’s largest institutional asset managers and a major global investor. LGIM manages £951.1bn in assets on behalf of over 3,200 clients (as at 30 June 2017), providing products and solutions spanning all asset classes.  LGIM Real Assets, headed up by Bill Hughes, has AUM of £24.9bn (as at 30 June 2017), actively investing and managing assets across commercial property, private residential, infrastructure and property lending and, most recently, corporate credit.

About Legal & General Group

Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK’s leading financial services groups and a major global investor. At 30th June 2017, we had over £951 billion in total assets under management. Over fifteen million customers worldwide rely on us to help them save for the future and to protect their families and their homes.

We work with companies and pension trustees to help people build security in retirement, being the UK’s largest investment manager for UK corporate pension schemes, a major provider of auto-enrolled pensions and a market leader in pensions de-risking.  We have also made a commitment to invest around £15 billion in direct investments, with over £12 billion already invested in areas such as homes, urban regeneration, clean energy and small business finance, driving economic growth and making a positive difference to the UK’s built environment.

About Artisan Real Estate Investors (

Artisan is a shareholding partnership between the Sanlam Group, a major South African financial services firm (through its business unit Sanlam International Investment Partners), the Argosy and Attventure Groups and Salt Properties Limited in the Isle of Man.

The organisation was founded in 2008 in the Isle of Man and has fast grown to become a niche provider of property investment advisory services.