Bruntwood, L&G in £360m technology investment

Chris Oglesby

Manchester-based commercial property company Bruntwood and Legal & General Capital said they established a landmark 50:50 partnership to create the UK’s largest property platform dedicated to driving science and technology growth in regional cities.

The deal will see the two partners invest £360 million of capital, property and intellectual assets into a new company, Bruntwood SciTech, “with a business plan supporting the creation of 20,000 high value jobs.”

The partners said the deal represents the largest investment made in science and technology property assets in Europe this year.

“It ignites a business plan that will see Bruntwood SciTech’s assets growfrom 1.3 million sq ft on day one to over 6.2 million sq ft over the next ten years, increasing the value of the portfolio to £1.8 billion,” said the firms.

“The new company combines Bruntwood’s commitment to creating thriving cities, working inpartnership with public, private and academic institutions, and Legal & General’s ability to unlock urban renewal opportunities and accelerate growth of some of the UK’s key sectorsthrough its long-term capital.

“Bruntwood SciTech’s portfolio is already home to more than 500 science and technology businesses ranging from digital start-ups to global life sciences companies.

“It is centred around flagship assets and development projects in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds, and includes the internationally-recognised life science campus in Cheshire, Alderley Park.

“Liverpool also features strongly in its forward plans.”

With Legal & General’s long-term financial support, Bruntwood SciTech will initially focus on developing out its existing portfolio of assets as well as expanding within the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine regions, seeking to make the most of untapped potential in the UK’s science and technology sector.

The business will explore opportunities for investment in other UK regional cities.

The business will be chaired by Bruntwood chief executive Chris Oglesby and led by current Bruntwood chief commercial officer Phil Kemp as CEO.

The board also features Legal & General Capital’s managing director of Urban Regeneration and Clean Energy John Cummins, and its director of regeneration Rachel Dickie.

Oglesby said: “Our focus is on creating thriving cities – breathing life into places where knowledge-based businesses can start and scale, driving growth for the UK economy.

“Bruntwood SciTech is aimed squarely at the many opportunities offered by the science and technology sector and with the backing of Legal & General we can greatly accelerate the scale and pace of what we can achieve.

“We have ambitious growth plans and see this activity as enabling the creation of around 20,000 new jobs over the next 10 years.”

Legal & General CEO Nigel Wilson said: “Although the UK is a great place to do business, years of chronic under investment have led to poor productivity, inadequate real wage growth and muted economic growth.

“Science and technology will be key to revitalising the UK economy and driving job creation. We need to keep investing to support the development of our UK regional cities.

“Through our investment in Bruntwood SciTech, we are partnering with a best in class management team at Bruntwood with a track record of delivering and developing majorscience and technology projects across the UK’s regions.”

Graham Barnes and Colin Thomasson of CBRE advised Bruntwood, alongside a team from Addleshaw Goddard. Savills, EY and CMS represented Legal & General.