Press releases

Legal & General funds Headingley stadium redevelopment

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.

Further information


Olivia Bayliss

Head of Communications

Capital and LGIM Real Assets

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 Investment Management Real Assets (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 £1.28tn in assets (as at 31 December 2020), 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 £36.3bn (as at 31 December 2020) 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 alternative debt.

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. In 2021, we are implementing a strategy as part of our commitment to net zero carbon emissions across the real estate equity business by 2050, and have also committed to measuring social value across 20% of our platform by the end of the year.

(As of June 2021)


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