Our journey to a better society

Our future cities business is focussed on addressing a shortage of investment and innovation in urban transformation, clean energy and digital infrastructure. Together, these building blocks can have a multiplier effect to create resilient cities of the future.

Regeneration projects and investing in digital infrastructure

We are involved in some of the UK’s largest urban transformation schemes, reshaping the landscape by working closely with our Real Assets team within our investment management business and partnering with local authorities, businesses and institutions. Through these investments, we are supporting the UK to develop great places to live and quality, world class science and technology employment.

In 2019, we established a partnership with Oxford University to develop much-needed affordable homes for university staff and students, as well as science and innovation districts, in and around Oxford. We have committed £4 billion of funding over the next ten years. Recognising the role that universities play in the future success of our economy, the partnership with Oxford University, as well as our existing partnerships with Newcastle University and Bruntwood, allow us to develop untapped potential in the UK’s science and technology sector.

We have major regeneration projects in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, London, Bath, Cardiff and Newcastle, in 2019 we announced a £100 million commitment to back Sunderland City Council’s visionary plan for a new core business district, which will support the creation of around 3,000 new jobs in the area.

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Affordable Housing?

We’re committed to leading the evolution of the affordable housing sector, by combining our long term capital with the expertise and management capability of the highest quality providers.

Our affordable homes business has grown rapidly and, within a year, now uses pension money to develop, own and manage new social housing and affordable homes to address overwhelming need across the UK. In 2019 our first affordable homes became both operational, welcoming our first residents, and profitable, while generating significant opportunities for the group’s retirement business.

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Accelerating scientific research about longevity

We understand there are challenges ahead in adapting to such a differently structured and ageing population, so we are already working with leading longevity academics and scientists:

  • We were chosen by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to deploy £6 million of grant funding to early stage companies that are making a difference in the healthy ageing market.
  • We work closely alongside and in support of UK academics, including through the Longevity Science Panel.
  • Bruntwood SciTech, in the last two years alone, has formed the UK’s largest science and technology property. They create a new £4bn partnership with Oxford University to develop science and innovation districts within the region, together with homes for staff and students.
  • Our long term partnership with Newcastle Council and Newcastle University continues to deliver at pace. Its Newcastle Helix scheme, which houses the UK’s National Centre for Ageing, brings together innovators in improving quality of life as people age, alongside a major new hub for scientific research and technology.
  • Guild Living are also working with the University of Bath to research reductions in loneliness in later life.

We are ambitious for our customers and our markets, so we want to take this one step forward, so we have invested £20m into a long-term partnership with the University of Edinburgh to establish the Advanced Care Research Centre (ACRC). The centre is the first of its kind in the UK, offering a seven year multi-disciplinary research programme designed to improve understanding of care in later life and to revolutionise how it is delivered. Never has this been more important.

Read more in our CSR Report

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