Legal & General, Oxford University and Wates are pleased to announce that construction has started on the ‘Life and Mind Building’ in Oxford, as part of Legal & General and Oxford University’s £4bn partnership.
3 Nov 2021
This building represents the largest building project ever undertaken on behalf of the University, and will be its largest teaching and research facility, significantly improving the way that biology and psychology are taught in Oxford. This will help scientists in the Departments of Biology and Experimental Psychology solve some of our major global challenges.
Legal & General entered into a £4bn partnership with the University of Oxford in June 2019, forming Oxford University Development (OUD) in order to provide thousands of new homes for staff and students, incubator space for research and businesses and academic facilities such as the Life and Mind Building. This is the first project within the partnership to start being developed.
Wates have been appointed as the main contractor to deliver the NBBJ-designed Life and Mind Building, which is due to open in 2024. The building situated at the gateway to the Oxford’s Science Area, replaces the Tinbergen building which closed in February 2017. The building covers 25,000 sqm, set over two wings containing laboratory and office accommodation with a central atrium and lower floor teaching centre. The design will provide maximal flexibility and foster collaboration between departments.
The construction of this new building will transform the educational experience for students, provide laboratories for students and researchers, as well as lecture theatres, specialised support laboratories and opportunities for public engagement. The new building will also aim to facilitate the University’s schools and public outreach programmes through opportunities for art, exhibitions, lectures and conferences, offering a ‘window into science’.
By building out a network of high-quality research and innovation facilities similar to this building, the partnership will seek to retain talent in the city, boost the economy and support spin-out and scale-up businesses. As an example of the network and creating a world-class science arena, it was announced early this year that INEOS, one of the world’s largest manufacturing companies, and the University of Oxford are launching a new world-leading institute to combat the growing global issue of antimicrobial resistance. This is the cause of an estimated 1.5 million excess deaths each year- and could cause over 10m deaths per year by 2050. The INEOS Oxford Institute will create collaborative and cross-disciplinary links across the sciences, and will be based between two sites in Oxford, linking the new Life & Mind Building and the University’s Department of Chemistry.
Demonstrating how Legal & General’s diverse skillsets and capital streams can be put to work, the Life and Mind Building is being funded by long-term annuity money from Legal & General’s retirement business, with Legal & General Capital acting as Developer and LGIM Real Assets as Development Manager.
Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive at Legal & General: "I am delighted to be at The Life and Mind Building today and see us break ground. Not only will this building provide students with a modern, state-of-the-art facility that helps continue the University of Oxford’s legacy as one of the world’s most pre-eminent teaching institutions, it also marks the start of our first development in our partnership with the University of Oxford.
We are extremely proud of our partnership with the University which will help retain talent in the city, whilst driving essential inward investment and providing opportunities for world-leading innovation as well as much needed housing for key workers. By facilitating investment the UK’s regional cities, we are creating a virtuous cycle whereby pensions and savings are used to create positive social, environmental and economic outcomes which are in line with our commitment to Inclusive Capitalism."
Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University: “This ground breaking for the new Life and Mind Building marks an important day for Oxford research. It will bring together scientists, scholars and students from all over the world, and from a wide range of disciplines, to push at the frontiers of knowledge and to find solutions to global problems. We are delighted that our partnership with Legal and General is making it possible.”
Paul Chandler, Executive Managing Director at Wates Construction Group: “We are proud to be delivering the Science and Research facilities for Oxford Universities Life and Mind Building, a place that will foster cutting edge innovation and collaboration amongst the brightest of minds so they can continue to attract the best talent from across the world.”
Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with over £1.2 trillion in total assets under management* of which 39% is international. We have a unique and highly synergistic business model, which continues to drive strong returns. Legal & General provides powerful asset origination and management capabilities directly to clients, which also underpin our leading retirement and protection solutions. We are a leading international player in Pension Risk Transfer, in UK and US life insurance, and in UK workplace pensions and retirement income. Our purpose is to improve the lives of our customers and create value for our shareholders. Through inclusive capitalism, we are investing in long-term assets, such as real estate and infrastructure, that can help build a better society for the future.
*as at HY 2023
Legal & General Capital (LGC) is Legal & General Group’s alternative asset platform, creating assets for Legal & General Retirement and third-party clients in order to achieve improved risk-adjusted returns for our shareholders. LGC has built its capabilities in a range of alternative sectors, including in residential property; specialist commercial real estate; clean energy; alternative credit; and venture capital, which are all supported by long-term structural growth drivers, meet a financing gap and respond to a scarcity of supply that is underpinned by enduring societal needs.
Its purpose is to invest society’s capital for society’s benefit. Investing in the real economy and supporting the Group’s focus on climate and inclusive capitalism, LGC’s investments create jobs, change lives and contribute towards a net zero carbon future.
Legal & General has invested over £29bn in levelling-up regional economies, including through major UK-wide regeneration schemes and has recently made a commitment to enable all its new homes to operate at net zero carbon emissions from 2030.
*at 31 Jun 2021
LGIMRA is a division of Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), one of Europe’s largest
institutional asset managers and a major global investor. LGIM manages £1.29 trillion1 ($1.57tn) in
assets, working with a range of global clients, including pension schemes, sovereign wealth funds, fund distributors and retail investors.
LGIM Real Assets has assets under management of £36 billion2 ($43.8bn) and is one of the largest
private markets investment managers in the UK. Investing in both debt and equity and across the
risk/return spectrum, LGIM Real Assets actively invests in and manages assets across commercial,
operational and residential property sectors, as well as infrastructure, real estate, corporate and
Taking a long-term view in order to future proof our investments, LGIM Real Assets continues to lead the industry in ESG performance, considering all environmental, social and governance issues at asset level as well as portfolio level.
1LGIM internal data as at 30 June 2022. These figures include assets managed by LGIMA, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Data includes derivative positions.
2Source: LGIM Real Assets. AUM data as at 30 June 2022.
*at 13 Jan 2023
For professional clients only. Past performance is not a guide to the future. The value of an investment and any income taken from it is not guaranteed and can go down as well as up, you may not get back the amount you originally invested. Views expressed are of LGIM as at 12 January 2023. The Information in this document (a) is for information purposes only and we are not soliciting any action based on it, and (b) is not a recommendation to buy or sell securities or pursue a particular investment strategy; and (c) is not investment, legal, regulatory or tax advice. Legal & General Investment Management Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 02091894. Registered Office: One Coleman Street, London, EC2R 5AA. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, No. 119272.
Oxford University has been placed number one in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the sixth year running, and at the heart of this success is our ground-breaking research and innovation. Oxford is world-famous for teaching and research excellence and home to some of the most talented people from across the globe. Our work helps the lives of millions, solving real-world problems through a huge network of partnerships and collaborations. The breadth and interdisciplinary nature of our research sparks imaginative and inventive insights and solutions.
NBBJ is an ideas-driven design firm. With an empathetic process rooted in careful research, real-world making and the belief that all voices should be heard, our work celebrates what makes us human. The world’s most innovative organisations partner with us to create dynamic, engaging experiences that foster community, promote health and embody a commitment to a sustainable future. Our clients range from industry leaders such as Amazon, Samsung, Microsoft and Tencent, to institutions such as the University of Oxford, Massachusetts General Hospital, the National Health Service and NYU Langone Health. Our global network includes more than 800 researchers, strategists, nurses, architects, planners and interior designers across 12 offices in North America, Europe and Asia. We have been named among the world’s most innovative architects by Fast Company three times, the fastest growing firm by Architectural Record and the “firm of choice for tech companies” by Wired.