7 Jan 2021
Legal & General backs housing, health and climate change with £1.5bn investment, creating tens of thousands of jobs and 6,000 new homes
Legal & General announces that it invested around £1.5bn in levelling up the UK’s towns and cities since the March 2020 lockdown, in turn creating over 30,000 jobs over the long-term and supporting a regional economic bounce back. Backing the delivery of around 2 million sq ft of much-needed real assets, these investments include science and innovation districts, clean energy infrastructure, and urban transformation projects.
Despite uncertainty caused by the pandemic, Legal & General has also continued to back the creation of new housing to tackle the chronic undersupply. Since March, it has secured planning permission for around 6,000 homes through its later living, build to rent, modular housing and build to sell businesses. It also backed the creation of thousands of new affordable homes through long-term debt financing and its affordable housing arm. Its most recent housing commitment was agreed at the end of December 2020 in Bristol, where it secured consent to deliver 185 homes through modern methods of construction. The energy efficient scheme has been developed with Bristol City Council in Bonnington Walk, Lockleaze and will have half of its homes as dedicated affordable. As Legal & General continues to support a move towards a net zero carbon future, it has committed to make all its new housing stock operationally net zero carbon enabled by 2030.
Legal & General’s 2020 investments bring its support for a ‘levelling-up’ programme to over £26bn. A particular focus of its business model is to maximise the value of investments in order to create meaningful social and environmental impacts - using society’s capital for society’s benefit. Through its investments in later living housing this year alone, Legal & General has created around £4.3 million of saving for the NHS each year, whilst freeing up thousands of hospital beds. Legal & General has also continued to back growth companies through alternative credit and venture capital, whilst growing its capabilities across clean energy infrastructure to support regional economies in building back better.
Our direct investments since March 2020 include:
- The group is a leading investor in the UK’s burgeoning science and tech sectors, helping to build out a network of science and innovation districts which support breakthroughs in medicine and technologies. Recent investments include the forward funding of a £200m research and teaching facility at Oxford University and, through its Bruntwood SciTech business, a £210m research innovation campus at the University of Birmingham, creating around 10,000 jobs and contributing £400m GVA to the local economy by 2030. Legal & General’s Bruntwood SciTech business further announced recently that it will launch a breakthrough oncology development programme with Cancer Research UK and others.
- As part of its commitment to help regenerate UK cities, Legal & General announced that it would forward fund a £140m mixed-use scheme in Cardiff which will provide 120,000 sq. ft. office space for almost 2,000 of the company’s own staff, along with 318 build to rent homes and a 14-bay bus station. The new building will sit within Legal & General’s £450m Cardiff Central Square regeneration scheme which, upon completion, will deliver over £1.1bn GVA for the regional economy and help create up to 13,000 jobs.
- £150m forward funding of a 200,000 sq. ft. office building, 350 build to rent homes and a multi-storey car park in Sheffield, helping to create and protect jobs for up to 1,800 workers.
- £81.5m forward funding of 346 build to rent homes and 12,800 sq. ft. of commercial space in Glasgow.
- £100m forward funding of build to rent homes in Birmingham.
- Planning permission for around 900 later living homes at locations including Kent, Bedfordshire and Surrey, creating around 500 jobs per annum during the construction period and up to 250 operational jobs once the projects are completed. Through providing dedicated living facilities for elderly people, Legal & General Retirement Living has saved the NHS, on average, £4.6m each year as well as freeing up thousands of hospital beds.
- Planning permission for around 350 modular homes in Selby and Bristol
- £75m deferred long-term financing to help deliver affordable housing in north east England.
- £100m deferred long-term financing to help deliver affordable housing across central and south west England.
- €54m deferred long-term financing to help deliver affordable housing across Ireland.
- £60m forward funding of 620,000 sq. ft. of industrial space in Sunderland, creating up to 1,600 jobs.
- £50m funding to develop a hotel, spa, sky bar and city centre ‘hub’ in Edinburgh.
- Financing and development of a state-of-the-art TV and film studio in Elstree, creating around 2,000 jobs and generating £3bn of production investment. The construction phase of the build will contribute £230 million to UK GDP in the period 2020–2021.
- A 36% stake in Kensa Group, a leading provider of ground source heat pumps which reduce CO2 emissions by 73% compared to gas boilers.
- Increased stake in EV charging business PodPoint, making six million zero carbon miles possible
With UK unemployment likely to rise significantly over the next 12 months, it’s essential that financial institutions continue to invest in the real economy, recycling pensions funds and savings into projects that help to create jobs, housing and vital infrastructure. As a group, Legal & General is committed to supporting productive finance initiatives, in turn fast-tracking the UK’s economic recovery and providing positive, long-term outcomes for our investors.
Through our group-wide commitment to inclusive capitalism, we are looking at how investment capital can not only create stable, long-term returns for our customers, but also to help to re-build regional economies in the wake of Covid-19 and limit the impacts of climate change. Our triangle of strategic challenges – climate, ageing and infrastructure – have all taken on a new urgency. We need to build back better, decarbonising our economies, creating a new intergenerational contract and sharing the benefits of a sustainable economy more fairly.
Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive of Legal & General