Sunderland City Council’s city centre masterplan has received a massive boost from a £100m deal with Legal & General.
The investment managers seek to deliver three new commercial buildings, comprising up to 300,000 sq ft of Grade A office space including the new Sunderland City Hall.
Legal & General identified the 'vast potential' it saw in the council's plans for Sunderland as the key driver of its investment.
‘Sunderland City Council has drawn up a visionary plan for Sunderland; a city ripe for economic growth, having historically lagged behind its Northern neighbours,’ said Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General.
‘As seen with our other Future Cities investments in areas such as Oxford, Leeds, Bristol, Newcastle and Cardiff, a long term patient capital injection can completely transform towns and cities.
‘This can have a direct social impact, creating real jobs and supporting real wage increases, whilst creating a virtuous circle by generating income to pay pensioners.
‘This is Inclusive capitalism at its best. We hope our investment today will accelerate regeneration plans for Sunderland, attracting further capital to support the vast potential of this city.’
The chief executive of Sunderland City Council, Patrick Melia, said the investment represented a 'serious vote of confidence' in Sunderland.
‘Make no mistake, today's announcement is the single most significant investment story to come out of Sunderland for decades,’ he said.
‘We are absolutely delighted that the vision we have created for this city is attracting the enthusiasm, support and most importantly financial backing of one of the world's most significant investors.
‘L&G's backing will allow us to supercharge plans to transform our city centre, creating a magnet destination that will attract more people to live, work and play here.
‘Sunderland has been something of a sleeping giant, but it has awoken, and we're absolutely determined to ensure this city realises every bit of its vast potential.’