Pete Gladwell, Group Social Impact and Investment Director, Legal & General Capital and Jane Robinson, Pro Vice Chancellor, Newcastle University highlight the benefits of place-based impact investing with The Newcastle Helix – a 24-acre city hub, putting Newcastle firmly on the map for major national and international scientific research and tech businesses.
Around a century ago, a coal mine stood on the land that is today occupied by Newcastle Helix, before later being replaced by the headquarters of Scottish and Newcastle Brewery until it closed its doors in 2005.
Back then, few people could have imagined that it would emerge as one of the most innovative centres in the UK. But Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University had a vision: they bought the site and began the laborious process of preparing it for building, including the removal of 38,000 tonnes of remaining coal
In 2017, Legal and General Capital partnered with Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University to bring their vision to life - supporting the £350 million flagship regeneration project with £65 million of funding.
The Newcastle Helix is now a 24-acre city centre quarter in the heart of Newcastle. It has put Newcastle firmly on the map for major national and international scientific research and tech businesses, bringing together a community of academics, industry leaders, businesses and world-class researchers.
In addition to the 500,000 sq ft of office and research space, the Newcastle Helix has created 450 homes a hotel, and a crucial 4,000 jobs for the city.
Pete Gladwell, Group Social Impact and Investment Director, Legal & General Capital said: “At L&G, we view place-based impact investing as part of our corporate social role. In Newcastle alone, over 100,000 people have entrusted their pension to Legal and General. This means we have a responsibility not just to provide those people with financial security in retirement but also to be answerable to them about how we’re improving their place”
Jane Robinson, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Newcastle University said: “The Newcastle Helix is a real exemplar of place-based investment. The flagship development has become an international exemplar of sustainable urban innovation. It has had a profound economic impact on the city in terms of job creation and business stimulation and become a hub for key growth sectors like life sciences and energy. Beyond the economic impact, the Newcastle Helix has been instrumental in connecting to the local community – raising aspirations, developing skills pathways and highlighting career opportunities.”
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