Legal & General commits to major Edinburgh, Princes Street regeneration project

Legal & General will invest £50 million into developing a Hotel, Spa, Sky Bar and city centre ‘Hub’

Legal & General announces, on behalf of the L&G UK Property Fund, that it will invest over £50 million into a major regeneration project in Princes Street, Edinburgh. The proposals will create a new hotel and city centre ‘hub’ including shopping, dining, hospitality, leisure and event space at 109-112 Princes Street.

Currently an under-utilised retail premises, Legal & General’s vision will transform 109-112 Princes Street, a building of significant architectural heritage and history in Edinburgh, into a vibrant destination, attracting both residents and tourists to make use of the new facilities. With unparalleled views directly onto Princes Street Gardens and Edinburgh Castle, Legal & General’s plans for Princes Street will create a major new destination in Edinburgh, delivering the footfall Princes Street needs to continue to thrive.

Legal & General has a significant track record in similar transformational urban regeneration projects and has invested billions of pounds into schemes across the UK, in cities such as Cardiff, Salford, Newcastle and Sunderland. Using its varied capital streams, Legal & General is committed to reshaping the urban landscape by recycling hard-earned UK savings and pensions into real assets which promote job creation and can support cities’ post-Covid economic bounce back.

The proposals for 109-112 Princes Street include a Sky Bar, Basement Spa, ‘fine casual’ dining and a new shopping close, linking through to Rose Street; all open to the public. It is envisaged that the plans will help realise the council’s long held ambitions to create a café culture in Edinburgh’s most famous street.

The Upper Upscale Hotel will have its own independent identity, reflecting the energy, culture and history of Edinburgh, and operate utilising the best available local produce for the food and drink offer. In line with Legal & General’s wider ESG commitments, the scheme is targeting ‘BREEAM’ Excellent status and will look to maximise social value through local resourcing and employment throughout the development and operational phases.

Matt Jarvis, Senior Fund Manager at Legal & General, comments:  “As normality begins to return around the world, it has never been more important that we support the UK’s cities in continuing to adapt, change and innovate; supporting their economic recovery and continuing to promote them as attractive places to live, work and visit. Our vision for Princes Street will do just that, whilst securing these important buildings as a vibrant hub in the centre of one of the world’s great cities. With some of the best views anywhere, looking directly on to Princes Street Gardens and Edinburgh Castle, our aim is to create a space which all Edinburgh and Scottish residents can enjoy, whilst continuing to attract quality tourism to the city. For the L&G UK Property Fund, this represents a exceptional opportunity, in line with its strategy to diversify into more operational and alternative assets, and offering a platform to drive forward value for investors.

Cammy Day, Deputy Leader at Edinburgh City Council, comments:  “Legal & General’s project promises to inject a huge amount of investment in our City and create brand new jobs at a time when we need it most. In many parts of the world, development is stalling as a result of the pandemic. That’s not the case in Edinburgh. It’s clear that companies remain confident in the enduring appeal of Scotland’s Capital as an attractive place to invest and this news should be viewed as a real confidence boost in our economy. Subject to planning, it will convert a prime site with stunning views and help to support the city’s wider recovery from Covid-19 – something all of us will benefit from”

Pre-Application Consultation proposals will be submitted before the end of the month, with an online public consultation taking place, rather than a public event due to Covid-19 restrictions. A planning application will follow the consultation. The opening of the development will depend on the timescale for any planning approval.

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