The Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) is investing £150m (€173m) into UK technology and life science real estate via Legal and General (L&G) and Bruntwood’s partnership.

The UK local government pension scheme is committing the capital as part of an additional £500m raised by the Bruntwood SciTech partnership, alongside an increased investment from the venture’s existing shareholders L&G and property group Bruntwood contributing cash and assets respectively.

In 2018, Legal & General Capital and Bruntwood set up the 50:50 UK science and technology property partnership aimed at creating a £5bn UK-wide portfolio that can support 2,600 high-growth businesses by 2032.  Bruntwood SciTech already has more than £1.5bn in assets across nine campus locations and 31 city centre innovation hubs, offering 4.8m sqft of specialist workspace.

The partners said the new capital will be used to expand and redevelop existing science and technology campuses and city centre innovation hubs, delivering much-needed additional lab and office space in Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Glasgow and Cambridge, across a secured 3.6m sqft development pipeline. The investment will also enable Bruntwood SciTech to enter additional R&D-intensive regional cities.

Chris Oglesby, executive chair of Bruntwood SciTech and CEO of Bruntwood, said: “GMPF’s investment, alongside the additional capital from Legal & General and assets from Bruntwood, will elevate the potential of Bruntwood SciTech even further, accelerate the delivery of our expansion pipeline, and maintain our market-leading position as the workspace provider of choice for innovation-led businesses.

”We will also be able to further support the delivery of strategic city visions and innovation strategies in the UK’s fastest-growing regional cities.”

Laura Mason, CEO of Legal & General Capital, said: “Bruntwood SciTech is a unique opportunity to invest in, and develop, a significant, patient capital project that is economically viable and socially useful. By bringing Greater Manchester Pension Fund alongside us, we can further scale our impact and deliver on a shared purpose to use society’s capital for society’s benefit.

“Together with GMPF, we’re bringing a fresh injection of capital which reinforces our commitment to and underlines our belief in the UK’s long-term role as a global tech powerhouse and scientific superpower.”

Councillor Gerald Cooney, chair of the GMPF, said: “We’re investing from society for society by deploying our capital to benefit the UK’s regional economies for the long-term, helping develop the innovation infrastructure they need in order to scale in world-leading workspaces and supporting them to attract the best, and most highly skilled talent, enter new markets and be supported in accessing new funds.

“We’re excited about how we can now help to bring forward Bruntwood SciTech’s pipeline of transformational, world-class developments and for a future in which we spread its impact even more so in its existing cities, and into new ones.”

Kate Lawlor, CEO of Bruntwood SciTech, said: “The UK’s real estate market is in a challenging period, but this deal, which will stand out as one of the most significant transactions this year, is about three organisations aligned in both their visions and commitment to investing for the long-term. It underlines our absolute confidence in our business model and proposition’s success, and we can now realise it at scale across more locations.”

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