Science Central secures investment from Legal & General

Science Central secures investment from Legal & General

Plans for Newcastle’ Science Central, which will create thousands of jobs, have been strengthened by a £65m cash injection from Legal & General Capital.

The unique deal will see the financial services giant become a long term investment partner on Science Central alongside Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University.

The initial £65m investment will fund the completion of two buildings on premium plots 1 and 2 offering over 200,000 sq ft of Grade A office space, creating 2,000 jobs and boosting economic growth.

This is the fourth major investment Legal & General Capital have made, supported by UKTI’s Regeneration Investment Organisation (RIO) as part of their £1.5bn UK Regeneration Co-Investment fund, which provides investment capital to large scale UK projects.

The investment is the biggest property deal Newcastle has seen for decades, and follows recent announcements that a National Centre for Energy Systems Integration will be built on site.

This is the third national centre of excellence secured on Science Central – along with the National Centre for Ageing and Science Innovation, and the National Institute for Smart Data Innovation – bringing the total investment to £90m since the beginning of the year.

The landmark building, The Core, opened in November 2014 and is at full capacity, Newcastle University delivered the first research labs in The Key which opened in February 2016 and construction of the university’s £58 million Urban Sciences Building is also well underway, due to open in summer 2017.

The 24 acre mixed used development is set to create over 4,000 jobs, 500,000 sq ft of office space, and 450 new homes in the heart of the city.

Councillor Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council said: “Today’s announcement is a major milestone for Newcastle, and one which sets a clear marker of our ambitions as a city.

“Science Central demonstrates that this city is committed to creating the jobs that will come to define future generations, jobs created thanks to the significant joint investments already made by both Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council.

“Legal & General Capital’s investment is a major vote of confidence in Newcastle from one of Europe’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.”

Nigel Wilson, CEO at Legal & General Group, said: “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.”

Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord O’Neill said: “With science and education at the heart of our plans to rebalance the economy and end the gap between the north and south, this deal has the potential to be a blueprint for other cities right across the region.”