January 2021

Investing in our society despite the pandemic

We’ve invested £1.5 billion in badly-needed real assets like housing and science districts since we first went into lockdown

House and office buildings during lockdown

Since the UK first went into lockdown in March, we have invested £1.5 billion into the UK’s towns and cities, creating more 30,000 jobs over the long term and supporting a regional economic bounce back. By investing money from pension funds into badly-needed real assets, including innovation districts, clean energy infrastructure and urban transformation projects, we are working to accelerate the country’s recovery from the pandemic. 

Despite uncertainty caused by Covid-19, we have continued to tackle the country’s chronic undersupply of housing and since March we have secured planning permission to build around 6,000 homes through our later-living, build-to-rent, modular housing and build-to-sell businesses. We’ve also backed the creation of thousands of new affordable homes through long-term debt financing and our affordable housing business. And we’ve committed to make all of our new housing operationally net zero carbon-enabled by 2030.

The recent investments bring our support for a ‘levelling-up’ of the UK’s towns and cities to more £26 billion. A particular focus of our efforts is to create meaningful social and environmental impacts. Through our investments in later-living housing, for example, we have created around £4.3 million of savings for the NHS each year, while freeing up thousands of hospital beds. 

Exciting investments

Our investments since March have included £75 million deferred long-term financing to help deliver affordable housing in north east England and another £100 million for affordable housing across central and south west England. And we have provided forward funding for a £200 million research and teaching facility at Oxford University and, through our Bruntwood SciTech business, we will deliver a £210 million innovation campus at the University of Birmingham.

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Another £60 million has been committed to creating industrial space in Sunderland, which will create up to 1,600 jobs, and we have provided £50 million of funding for a new hotel, spa, sky bar and city centre hub in Edinburgh. We’ve also backed one of the UK’s most vibrant industries by financing the development of a state-of-the-art TV and film studio in Elstree.

In addition, we’ve continued to back growth companies through alternative credit and venture capital, while growing our capabilities across clean energy infrastructure to support regional economies in building back better. Since March, we have invested in ground source heat pumps through Kensa Group and increased our stake in electric vehicle charging business PodPoint, making six million zero carbon vehicle miles possible.

Real economy

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.”

House and office buildings during lockdown
November 2020

The need for an inclusive post-pandemic recovery

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