Legal & General Capital has announced its plans to partner with Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University, to help build and finance the £350 million Newcastle Science Central development.

Science Central will become a major UK hub for scientific research, and technology businesses. The North-East’s new devolution deal creates the opportunity to bring this powerful local vision to life, creating knowledge-based jobs for future generations in Newcastle and extending the Northern Powerhouse to “the North of the North”.

Newcastle Science Central is one of the biggest urban regeneration projects of its kind in the UK. The 24-acre science and technology hub on the former brewery site, famed for brewing Newcastle Brown Ale, is located in Newcastle’s city centre and is set to create over 4,000 jobs, 500,000 sq ft of office space, and 450 new homes. Legal & General Capital’s initial £65 million investment will deliver over 200,000 sq ft of Grade A office space, facilitating significant economic growth in the City, and unlocking further investment in commercial and residential opportunities at Science Central.

Nigel Wilson, CEO at Legal & General, commented: “I am thrilled that Legal & General is investing in the future of Newcastle. This investment is further evidence of the power of ‘bulldozer money’ to deliver high-tech growth and jobs through regeneration in the North. Whatever the EU Referendum outcome, we need growth in the UK – and this is the way to deliver it.”

Legal & General plans to invest £15 billion in UK infrastructure, direct investments and urban regeneration projects. It has already invested over £7 billion, and is committed to modernising Britain’s great cities as it aims to invest £15 billion.

Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council said: “Today’s announcement is a major milestone for the partnership, and further testament to the progress taking place on Science Central through significant joint investments already made by both Newcastle University and the council.

“Legal & General Capital’s investment is a major vote of confidence in Newcastle from one of the UK’s leading investors, who have clearly recognised the enormous potential of Newcastle and the region. Securing the deal will act as a catalyst to attract further investment, putting us firmly on the map as a UK hub for the science and technology sector and creating knowledge-based jobs for future generations, sending out a strong message that Newcastle is open for business.

Professor Chris Brink, Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, said: “Today’s announcement by Legal & General Capital is a reflection of what has been achieved so far and testament to the potential of Science Central as an exemplar of sustainable urban development.

“Building on our recent outstanding research successes, with the announcement of our three National centres – the National Centre for Ageing Science and Innovation, the National Institute for Smart Data Innovation (NISDI) and the EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration – this investment will take us a step closer to realising our vision for Science Central.”

The deal represents the fourth project to be delivered since the start of Legal & General’s partnership with the Regeneration Investment Organisation (RIO), launched at 10 Downing Street in January 2015. Bringing with it an extensive network of international investor contacts and deep property expertise, Legal & General is committed to co-invest £1.5bn into RIO pipeline projects alongside capital from other institutions and major overseas investors and is working with the government’s inward investment body, UKTI, to attract an additional £15 billion of investment into critical regeneration projects that support UK growth.

Newcastle Science Central is located in the city’s Accelerated Development Zone, next to Newcastle United’s football ground, St James’s Park, and to the north of Newcastle train station.

Source: L&G

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