Totaling €39.17m (£35m), Legal & General’s investment, on behalf of its Leisure Fund, will build a new state-of-the-art leisure and retail scheme at the Vangarde development. This will comprise a new 13 screen IMAX 50,000 ft² cinema which has been pre-let to Cineworld, as well as various restaurants and retail units.
The leisure and retail scheme forms part of the wider regeneration of the Vangarde development which Wrenbridge Sport in a consortium with the City of York Council and Greenwich Leisure Ltd have been working on for the past four years. In addition to Legal & General’s investment, the wider scheme includes the construction of a new 8,000 seat stadium for York City FC and York Knights RCFC, a leisure complex community hub comprising sports hall, 25m swimming pool, gym, NHS facilities and outdoor artificial pitches, as well as further retail and restaurant units.
Richard Arnold, Managing Director of Wrenbridge Sport, said: "Both Wrenbridge and our consultants have worked extensively to deliver this project for the City of York. The support of our wider team has enabled us to deliver one of the most complex projects we have ever been involved in. Now we will turn our attention to delivery and our contractor the Buckingham Group, are already preparing to start construction with the aim of completion of the stadium in June 2019. At the same time, we will be building the cinema, leisure, retail and restaurants adjacent to the stadium. It really is a great project for the City of York.”
Andrew Ferguson, Senior Fund Manager at LGIM Real Assets, said: “Good-quality leisure developments in the UK are still relatively rare. The chance to fund a brand new scheme, anchored by Cineworld, in an important growth city such as York is a great opportunity for the Leisure Fund. This investment is also another example of how we can unlock development opportunities through our private capital by working in partnership with existing developers and with a proactive and collaborative local authority. This is a significant development for York and an important investment for the City which will create jobs and contribute to the growth of the local economy.”
Legal & General has invested over €13.4bn (£12bn) into UK direct investments and urban regeneration projects to date, with a commitment to invest €16.79 (£15bn).It focuses on a holistic investment approach, enabled through collaborative partnerships with progressive local communities, in order to maximise its long-term social and economic impact.
Ian Floyd, deputy chief executive and corporate director for customer and corporate services at City of York Council said: “This exciting commercial development has provided significant investment, helping to deliver fantastic new sporting leisure facilities for residents across York to enjoy. Once complete, the Community Stadium and accompanying facilities will be a great asset for the city and residents. And with new jobs and €39.17m (£35m) investment, it will bring huge and long-lasting economic benefits to the city.”