It also boosts our economy – the UK’s GDP last year was around £2 trillion, so every £20bn invested in infrastructure is equivalent to adding 1pc growth to our GDP. With a local multiplier of three, the impact could be as much as £60bn.
Many of L&G’s investments are in so-called “midi-projects” worth between £50m and £1bn, rather than mega-projects like Heathrow, HS2 or Crossrail.
But these smaller projects can deliver substantial benefits quickly in terms of jobs and economic growth.
Take, for example, the announcement we made last week on a multimillion-pound joint project with Sky and NBCUniversal to build new state-of-the-art studios at Elstree in London. This is a project that will help create 2,500 direct jobs – and many more indirectly – and attract more than £3bn of production spend in the first five years, building on the huge success of Sky’s award-winning series Chernobyl, as well as programmes like Game of Thrones, which was largely made in the UK.
When the new studios open in two years’ time, they will boast 12 separate sound stages that will offer film and TV programme makers huge choice and flexibility. It will be a significant boost to our hugely important creative sector, an area where we are rightly recognised as world leaders, with one in five jobs in London now in the creative industries.
Our approach at L&G is simple. We are using society’s capital for society’s benefit – investing to provide the secure long-term returns that will pay future pensions. We call it inclusive capitalism, as it is an approach that delivers good outcomes for our customers, strong returns for our shareholders and clear benefits for our communities in terms of jobs and economic growth. So, as we begin our journey of hope from pandemic recession to recovery, the Government must take the lead in setting our course – but the private sector needs to step up and play a major role too. If we work together, we can ensure we return to the road to prosperity.
Nigel Wilson is the chief executive of Legal & General