On June 21, 2021 in England, the real estate investment firm Legal & General announced that it has agreed terms with the Bristol City Council to invest £350 million ($486 million USD) into revitalizing Bristol Temple Island.
The investment will help transform the disused site into a vibrant new urban quarter. With a focus on social inclusion through affordable housing, training and employment opportunities, Temple Island will support the city’s plans to build back better and back the creation of 2000 new jobs.
“This investment is welcome to deliver a much needed boost to jobs and economic growth in Bristol as we recover from the pandemic. The development in Temple Quarter will deliver affordable homes that will play a significant role in bringing people and families to the city centre, within easy active-travel access to jobs and leisure. This development is a step forward in our commitment to stretching targets on affordable homes as well as a balanced response to the linked and fundamental challenges of housing, jobs and climate. We are delighted to be delivering through collaboration with our key partners, Legal and General, alongside the University of Bristol and Network Rail,” said Marvin Rees, the mayor of Bristol.
Using the UK’s pensions and savings to drive economic growth in the region post-COVID, Temple Island will complement the wider “Temple Quarter” partnership, which includes Bristol City Council, the University of Bristol and Network Rail.
Legal & General is already a significant investor in Bristol, having committed £310m to nearby Build to Rent and modular housing schemes, alongside commercial real estate, such as a Civil Service hub and the Quayside Bristol office development.
Legal & General’s new development will bring forward a resilient city centre offer in the face of current structural changes in working, retailing and leisure. The Temple Island scheme will enable the growth and innovation stemming from the University’s neighboring new Innovation Campus by providing incubator space, affordable housing and new employment opportunities for the local knowledge economy.
Designed by Zaha-Hadid Architects (ZHA), Temple Island will include a large capacity conference centre and exhibition space, a 345-room hotel, 550 new homes (including 220 new affordable homes) and two major Grade A office buildings. As part of its commitment to tackle the growing climate crisis, Legal & General’s scheme at Bristol Temple Island will be heated by a District Heating Scheme provided by Bristol City Council and the buildings will target a minimum of BREEAM Excellent status.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Legal & General has stepped up its commitment to supporting the UK’s economic and social resurgence by committing significant capital towards the levelling up agenda. This year alone, it has deployed over £2bn into transformational schemes, such as its new innovation district; ID Manchester, and into urban regeneration projects such as Bristol Temple Island. In partnership with forward thinking universities and local authorities, Legal & General has now invested over £30bn into major urban regeneration schemes in areas such as Manchester, Oxford, Cardiff and Newcastle, using the UK’s pension and savings to drive the economic recovery in these cities.
“Our investment partnerships in cities such as Oxford, Manchester, Cardiff and Newcastle are already delivering at pace, and likewise our vision for the Temple Island will deliver a much-needed new quarter in Bristol. The conference centre will attract delegates from around the world, whilst the offices and affordable homes will meet an urgent local need and support new ways of living, post-pandemic,” said Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General.
“We have been attracted by Bristol City Council’s commitment to become a “city for all”. aligning with our ambitions to level up across UK regions and cities, using the power of pensions. Alongside, we firmly believe this development offers a perfect complement to Bristol University’s new Innovation Campus, providing space to incubate new talent and start up companies coming out of the university,” he added.
Following the agreement of terms, Legal & General will be launching the first phase of its public consultation on the plans for Temple Island. Over the coming months, Legal & General will work to better understand residents, businesses and community groups’ aspirations for the site and together develop a shared vision for this important part of the city.
Legal & General says they are committed to engaging widely with the local community as it starts to develop the plans for Temple Island beyond this initial high-level agreement with Bristol City Council.
Image courtesy of Legal & General.