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28.11.2017

Legal & General to fund York’s Vangarde leisure scheme development

Legal & General, on behalf of its leisure fund, has revealed a £35 million investment into building a state-of-the-art leisure and retail scheme at the Vangarde development in York.

The funding will see the rise of a 13-screen IMAX 50,000 sq ft cinema pre-let to Cineworld, as well as dining and shopping units. The FTSE100 financial services group said the scheme is part of the wider regeneration of the Vangarde development, which Wrenbridge Sport, in a consortium with the City of York Council and Greenwich Leisure Ltd, has been working on for the past four years.

Further plans for the development include the construction of an 8,000-seat stadium for York City FC and York Knights RCFC.

“Good-quality leisure developments in the UK are still relatively rare,” commented Andrew Ferguson, senior fund manager at LGIM Real Assets, a division of Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM). “The chance to fund a brand new scheme, anchored by Cineworld, in an important growth city such as York is a great opportunity for the leisure fund.

“This investment is also another example of how we can unlock development opportunities through our private capital by working in partnership with existing developers and with a proactive and collaborative local authority. This is a significant development for York and an important investment for the city which will create jobs and contribute to the growth of the local economy.”

Committed to invest £15 billion, Legal & General has so far invested more than £12 billion into UK direct investments and urban regeneration projects.

“Both Wrenbridge and our consultants have worked extensively to deliver this project for the City of York,” said Wrenbridge Sport managing director Richard Arnold. “The support of our wider team has enabled us to deliver one of the most complex projects we have ever been involved in.

“Now we will turn our attention to delivery, and our contractor, the Buckingham Group, is already preparing to start construction with the aim of completion of the stadium in June 2019. At the same time we will be building the cinema, leisure, retail, and restaurants adjacent to the stadium.”

Ian Floyd, deputy chief executive and corporate director for customer and corporate services at City of York Council, said the “exciting” commercial development has provided significant investment.

“Once complete, the Community Stadium and accompanying facilities will be a great asset for the city and residents,” he noted. “And with new jobs and £35 million investment, it will bring huge and long-lasting economic benefits to the city.”

With assets under management of £24.9 billion as of end-June, LGIM Real Assets actively invests and manages assets across commercial property, private residential, infrastructure and property lending, and corporate credit.

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