Legal & General announces that it has partnered with Leeds City Council to fund the redevelopment of Headingley Stadium, one of the UK’s premier sporting complexes.
18 Oct 2017
This latest deal brings Legal & General’s total investment into Leeds to over £600 million.
Comprising the redeveloped stand, which sits on the south side of Headingley Cricket Stadium and the adjacent north stand of the Rugby Stadium, the property will be let to Leeds City Council on a 42 year lease, and under-let to the Cricket and Rugby Clubs jointly. Legal & General is financing the circa £35 million redevelopment on behalf of Legal & General Retirement, which invests in high-quality, long-term assets that generate income streams, which match its commitments to pensioners across Britain.
The stadium has a significant heritage, having hosted international sports for over 110 years, and continues to host Tests, One Day Internationals and International T20 matches, as well as Rugby League Internationals and other major Rugby League events. It is the home of The Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC), Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Union Football Club and Leeds Rhinos Rugby League Club.
An important driver of Leeds’ visitor economy, the deal will help secure the future of Headingley as home to top-level international sport, upgrading the seating capacity and providing facilities which will meet future standards. Significantly boosting local jobs and economic growth, both during construction and over the long term, it is estimated that once complete the new stands will generate additional expenditure of over £107 million by 2023.
Legal & General has invested £12 billion into UK direct investments and urban regeneration projects to date, with a commitment to invest £15 billion. It focuses on a holistic investment approach, enabled through collaborative partnerships with progressive local communities, in order to maximise its long-term social and economic impact. As part of this, Legal & General has committed over £600 million to Leeds. Investments include major urban regeneration projects, and the delivery of housing, social care and infrastructure, such as its Thorpe Park Leeds scheme, a city centre Build-to-Rent scheme and its modular housing factory.
Pete Gladwell, Head of Public Sector Partnerships at LGIM Real Assets, said: “When institutions such as Legal & General were created in the early 1800’s we were the original crowd-funding platforms; investing society’s capital for society’s benefit. This investment is the latest example of our rediscovering that ethos, investing at pace in the social fabric of Yorkshire, as part of a wider partnership with a proactive and collaborative local authority.
“This investment is in line with our desire to transform and reshape Britain’s landscape by improving and better utilising our existing infrastructure. There is significant economic benefit that maintaining “Test” status for Headingley will bring to the City and the wider region, which makes this redevelopment another important investment in the City, improving wellbeing and contributing to the growth of the local economy.”
Kerrigan Procter, Chief Executive Officer, Legal & General Retirement, added: “Our financing of this project is a great investment fit for us as the long term income it produces helps to pay our customers’ pensions. As well as enabling us to fulfil pension promises to our customers in an efficient way, this kind of investment allows us to play a part in driving job creation and economic growth which is good for business as well as our customers. The UK is a great place to invest and investing in real assets is socially and economically useful; we look forward to doing more.”
Leader of Leeds City Council Cllr Judith Blake, said: “Headingley Carnegie Stadium is a truly iconic venue which as the home of Yorkshire CCC, Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire Carnegie, is loved and celebrated by people across the world. We were determined to find to a way to ensure that top-class sport could continue to be played at Headingley through the redevelopment of the stadium. I am delighted to say that in Legal & General we met an organisation who very much shared this ambition.
“Through this agreement, Legal & General are playing a key role in ensuring that not only will Headingley be a modern and first-class venue but also that the significant economic benefits that are brought to Leeds and the wider region through the hosting of top-class matches will continue. We would like to thank Legal & General for their hard work and diligence with partners in reaching this agreement.”
Mark Arthur, Chief Executive at The Yorkshire County Cricket Club, said: “We have been working for a number of years with Leeds Rugby to find a solution to maintain International cricket at Emerald Headingley from 2020. We are truly grateful to Leeds City Council for brokering this deal with Legal and General. The resultant effect is that The Yorkshire County Cricket Club can look forward to sustained growth over the short, medium and long term.
“The redevelopment began in earnest just last week and our ambitious plans to redevelop the North-South Stand can now be realised.
“The Club is striving to become one of the top-four Test grounds in the country and, with a new stand in place, we can look forward to engaging with more communities and people from across the county and beyond.”
Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington, said: “For a number of years, we have been working closely with Leeds City Council and partners to find a solution to ensure international sport continues at Headingley Carnegie and we appreciate all the effort and commitment put in by Leeds City Council to broker this deal. These are exciting times on and off the field for Leeds Rhinos with the re-development work well underway now and our team becoming Champions once again for a record eighth time last weekend. We look forward to a bright future and continuing to proudly represent our great city at our iconic home for generations to come.”
Legal & General was advised by GVA.
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
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2Source: LGIM Real Assets. AUM data as at 30 June 2022.
*at 13 Jan 2023
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