Press releases

Legal & General announces £200m funding of Oxford University innovation centre for Life and Mind sciences

Legal & General announces that it will fund and deliver a new sciences building with the University of Oxford to serve as a world-class home for their departments of Zoology, Plant Sciences and Experimental Psychology.

19 Oct 2020


Full press release

The new £200m  ‘Life and Mind Building’ will be the largest building project ever undertaken on behalf of the University, and its largest teaching and research facility, significantly improving the way that psychological and biological tuition is undertaken in Oxford and helping scientists to 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, as well a number of innovation facilities. Demonstrating how Legal & General’s diverse skillsets and capital streams can be put to work, the scheme will be 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.

By building out a network of high-quality research and innovation facilities, the partnership will seek to retain talent in the city, boost the economy and support spin-out and scale-up businesses. Bolstering its long-term pension commitments by creating real assets which provide new jobs, housing, productivity and wage growth, Legal & General is able to invest society’s capital for society’s benefit. 

The Life and Mind Building is due to open in 2024 and will transform the education experience for students, providing 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’.  It replaces the Tinbergen building, which closed in February 2017, and will enhance this gateway to Oxford’s Science Area.

The demolition of the existing Tinbergen building is due to be complete by October 2020, with Legal & General to begin construction on the site in July 2021.

Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive at Legal & General: "The Life and Mind Building will 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. We are extremely proud of our partnership with the University of Oxford, which in the wake of COVID-19 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.

Legal & General has invested over £25bn in levelling-up regional economies throughout the UK, including by forming major partnerships with local and central governments, universities and local businesses in Cardiff, Greater Manchester and Newcastle. 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, The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford: "The University of Oxford is delighted to be working in partnership with Legal & General to deliver a landmark Life and Mind building that will transform the relationship between the biological and psychological sciences.  This fabulous building will provide innovative facilities for teaching and research, which will enable Oxford to train a new generation of scientists who in turn will help us to address critical global challenges."

Notes to editors

Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK’s leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with international businesses in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia. With almost £1.3 trillion in total assets under management*, we are the UK’s largest investment manager for corporate pension schemes and a UK market leader in pension risk transfer, alternative asset origination, life insurance, workplace pensions and retirement income. Through inclusive capitalism, we aim to build a better society by investing in long-term assets that benefit everyone.

* at 30 June 2021

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.

(As of June 2021)