Legal & General (L&G) is investing pension money to fund a £150m (€174m) residential development in Northern Ireland’s capital city.

The UK financial services provider, on behalf of Legal & General Retirement Institutional (LGRI), is funding the development of  627 new homes in Belfast being developed by Watkin Jones in partnership with Lacuna Developments.

The project forms part of a residential development, known as Loft Lines, located within the Titanic Quarter. Loft Lines is expected to complete in 2026.

In a separate announcement, Watkin Jones said it has exchanged contracts with L&G and Clanmil Housing Association to forward fund the new urban residential community, adding that the agreed funding amounts to £155m of a wider £175m development.

L&G said the transaction is its first build-to-rent (BTR) investment in Northern Ireland and marks the largest real estate investment in the region for 20 years.

Dan Batterton, the head of residential at Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets, said: “Building on the significant momentum behind our BTR platform and its recent investments across major UK cities, we are excited to be entering a new market in Belfast.

“This latest scheme, our first in Northern Ireland, is an important and significant step to help address an enduring regional housing crisis and clear imbalance of supply and demand. We believe greater investment in our regional cities, particularly to deliver new homes, is needed.”

Andrew Kail, CEO of LGRI said the BTR development in Belfast, which marks the largest residential investment in Northern Ireland, is a “significant milestone is a great example of how we’re investing in socially-useful, economically attractive assets and using pension savings to create vibrant and sustainable living environments”.

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