Legal & General Property is investing £53.25m (€68.45m) in a regional UK retail and leisure scheme.

It said its Managed Property Fund would fund the redevelopment of the St James project in Dover. 

The St James project, due for completion next year, is being developed by Bond City, which has been involved with the scheme for more than 10 years.

The 156,915 sqft asset will be anchored by Marks & Spencer and Next, as well as a Cineworld cinema and Travelodge hotel.

The scheme is currently 69% pre-let.

Mark Russell, senior fund manager at Legal & General Property, said it had received significant tenant demand for remaining vacant units.

He said the asset would provide access to a “diverse and resilient” income stream from high-quality tenants.

“Rents are affordable and will allow for profitable trading – important as we enter a phase in the market cycle where income and income growth is expected to form the greater part of total returns,” Russell said. 

“The scheme will be modern, fit for purpose and highly prominent.”

The development is part of a commitment by Dover’s local council to regenerate the town.

The council is working with developers to bring more than 10,000 new homes to the district by 2026, increasing to 14,000 in the longer term.