Canada Life Investments to finance £11.6mn Sunderland hotel development

London, UK – Canada Life Investments is delighted to announce that it has acquired a 999 year head lease in the site at 1 Keel Square, Sunderland from the Cairn Group, a Newcastle based private leisure company.

Over the next 18 months Canada Life Investments will provide a total commitment of £11.60m to fund the construction of a 3 storey block comprising a 120-bed hotel and 5 ground floor retail/leisure units. On completion the property will be leased to Sunderland City Council for 35 years at an initial rent of £385,000 pa rising in line with RPI between 1% and 4% per annum. The Council will cover its rental commitment by subletting the hotel and 2 of the leisure units on similar lease terms back to the Cairn Hotel Group, who will fit out and operate the hotel as a 4 star Holiday Inn. The Council will let out the remaining leisure units to independent operators to create a profit rent. At the end of the 35-year lease period Canada Life Investments relinquishes its head lease interest back to Cairn.

The acquisition was led by Michael White Head of UK Property at Canada Life Investments who took over from Mike Roberts on 1 July following his retirement from the business after 25 years of service.

Michael White, Head of UK Property at Canada Life Investments comments on the transaction:

“We are thrilled to be supporting this project. This development is an important piece of Sunderland City Council’s strategic development plan to attract £1.5bn in public and private investment by 2024 for infrastructure and urban regeneration projects to promote economic growth and employment in the city. Keel Square is a focal point in the city centre and the scheme will complement the new civic centre and other offices being developed nearby on the Vaux site. This financing transaction is another good example where collaboration between an operator, the council and an institutional funder can result in the regeneration of sites that may otherwise have laid idle, giving a positive outcome for the local community.” 


For press and all media enquiries, please contact:

Rebecca Smith, Canada Life PR Manager


Notes to Editors:

About Canada Life Investments

  • Heritage, size & stability – founded in 1847, our parent business is part of the Great-West Life Group, which has over £940 billion in assets under administration. In our 100-strong London office, Canada Life Investments manages more than £38 billion in fixed income, property, real estate finance, and equities, as well as a comprehensive multi-asset range.
  • A long-term business – the very nature of our business is long-term. We have been building long-term relationships with our customers in the UK since 1903, demonstrated by our annuity customers and our fund propositions, which are targeted at long-term solutions.
  • A customer focus – Canada Life Investments is built on the needs of the customer. We want our clients to invest with us for the long-term, trusting us as custodians of their money. Our products are designed to deliver what our clients expect
  • Wide-ranging expertise – our team of investment professionals has an extensive track record across a wide range of assets, including bonds, equities, private placements and unlisted transactions. Our

award-winning property team also manages both direct property investments and commercial mortgages, while our real estate finance specialists have been providing finance solutions for acquisitions of good quality assets for over 25 years  

  • We offer solutions – we understand the challenges our clients face, from regulatory issues to investment selection. Be it fixed income, property or equities we believe we are well-placed to help our clients navigate the market through a varied suite of products. These include domestic and international bonds and equities, UK commercial property and a comprehensive multi-asset range, which includes a set of risk-target managed funds that focus explicitly on client suitability

As at 31/03/2020

The value of investments may fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the amount invested.

Canada Life Investments is the brand for investment management activities undertaken by Canada Life Asset Management Limited, Canada Life Limited and Canada Life European Real Estate Limited. Canada Life Asset Management Limited (no. 03846821), Canada Life Limited (no.00973271) and Canada Life European Real Estate Limited (no. 03846823) are all registered in England and the registered office for all three entities is Canada Life Place, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire EN6 5BA. Canada Life Asset Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Canada Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Please note that while Canada Life Asset Management and Canada Life Limited are regulated as stated above, property management and the provision of commercial mortgages are not regulated activities.

CLI01671 Expiry 31/07/2021