Legal & General has announced that it has exchanged contracts to complete the largest privately funded development in Wales, Cardiff Central Square, in partnership with the Welsh Government and Rightacres Property. Comprising over 500,000 sq ft, the final major element of the £400m regeneration scheme will include: the much anticipated new Bus Station; 318 Build to Rent (BTR) apartments; and 100,000 sq ft of Grade A office space.
Legal & General is dedicated to helping to drive regional economic growth in order to improve lives and deliver extraordinary social outcomes. It is using long-dated UK pension money to invest in our cities and towns; creating real jobs, high quality and varied housing and better infrastructure. This, in turn, boosts productivity and delivers vibrant communities in which people can live longer, healthier and happier lives. Legal & General has invested over £19bn into UK direct investments such as homes, urban regeneration, clean energy and transport infrastructure.
This latest deal in Wales follows Legal & General’s announcement that it has signed the UK’s largest bulk annuity transfer – a £4.6bn Pension Risk Transfer (PRT) with Rolls-Royce Pension Fund, covering approximately 33,000 in-payment pensioners. Having transacted on four of the five largest UK PRT deals to date, Legal & General is uniquely placed to invest pension money into the UK economy, supporting its long-term commitments and creating assets to provide new real jobs, housing, productivity and wage growth.
Kerrigan Procter, CEO of Legal & General Capital, said: “Legal & General’s activity across the South West and Wales demonstrates how our varied capital streams can be put to work to create real high quality assets which have a significant long term socio-economic impact in the region. Cardiff Central Square is a prime example of how we are creating assets for Legal & General Retirement to back pension risk transfer deals and that can form part of LGIM-managed funds, while delivering jobs, housing, infrastructure and exponential economic growth. This is inclusive capitalism at its best.”
Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff Council, said: “The building of a new bus interchange has been a number one priority for the council since day one of this administration, reflecting our commitment to delivering more and better jobs for the people of Cardiff and beyond. This will be the final stage of the completion of Central Square, which is the biggest regeneration project in Wales. The Council’s original masterplan for this part of the city is now a reality and we are delighted that through it, thousands of jobs are being created in the Welsh Capital.”
Dan Batterton, Head of Build to Rent at LGIM Real Assets, said: “With Cardiff’s population expected to grow significantly over the next 20 years, increasing pressure is being put on its housing provision and infrastructure. We are delighted today to announce Wales’ largest Build to Rent scheme, which will help to address the growing challenges, offering high quality, affordable homes on long term flexible leases for elective renters. The delivery of high quality developments with vibrant communities is becoming more and more important. This latest project is the perfect example and will have a positive long term impact for Cardiff and the South West more widely, maximising our existing infrastructure and supporting economic growth and job creation.”
Tom Roberts, Head of Strategic Investment at LGIM Real Assets, said: “Rising to the challenges faced by modern cities requires a next level approach to urban regeneration. To meet the expectations of modern city-dwellers and to improve their quality of life, developments must be genuinely mixed, offering a range of residential and work space, alongside infrastructure improvements. Legal & General is committed to funding and delivering this kind of sustainable developments and we are activity identifying further opportunities in the South West, alongside today’s announcement in Cardiff.”
Paul McCarthy, Rightacres Chief Executive, said: “Cardiff Central is the key gateway to Wales and as more businesses and people move into Cardiff city centre, the development and transport hub will provide ever increasing economic, environment and social value.”
Within the South West, Legal & General has funded more than seven major schemes over the past five years – helping to establish the region as the UK’s next big metropolitan hub. According to analysis by BOP Consulting, these have had a significant positive impact on the local economy, including adding a projected £1.1bn to the Gross Value Added of the Cardiff City region over the coming decade.
In Bath Quays North, it is investing [£400m] into redeveloping a 5.5 acre prime riverside site into a 306,000 sqft office-led, mixed use scheme. It is also delivering 868 Build to Rent Homes in Bristol, Bath and Cardiff and around 300 homes within its first urban retirement living scheme in Bath. Additionally, Legal & General has forward funded 3 Glass Wharf in Bristol for HMRC’s new hub and has invested into Sovereign Shopping Centre in the centre of Weston-Super-Mare.
On the back of this success in the South West and Wales, Legal & General is now in active discussions to deliver further mixed-use regeneration schemes across the region, including Bristol Temple Island, to deliver further local employment, housing and economic growth.