Legal & General invests GBP1.5bn in UK 'levelling up'
Legal & General has invested around GBP1.5 billion 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 two 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.
Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive of Legal & General, says: “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.”
Legal & General’s 2020 investments bring its support for a ‘levelling-up’ programme to over GBP26 billion. 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 GBP4.3 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.