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Mike Coplowe

Legal & General’s £160m investment in Sunderland has inspired a lesson in careers and development for city school children this week.  

Mike Coplowe, a senior development manager with the investment giant, which is backing plans for the regeneration at Riverside Sunderland and Hillthorn Park in Washington, delivered a careers talk to year 10 students at Hetton School as part of the Urban Land Institute’s Urban Plan Programme, which is designed to inspire the next generation about the opportunities available to them when they leave school.  

The virtual Real Estate development workshop allowed children to learn more about Riverside Sunderland, an ambitious regeneration project that will transform part of the city centre, as well as proposals for Hillthorn Park, which will see nine new industrial units developed speculatively at land near Nissan. 

Mike, who is part of the team leading Legal & General’s investment programme across the North East, shared details of his own career journey, what people can expect from a role in property. 

Mike said: “The programme we are undertaking in Sunderland will ensure that there are thousands of new jobs available for the next generation in the city. 

“Helping young people to understand the career opportunities available to them, not only in the supply chain that will construct these new workspaces, but in organisations like Legal & General that enable their development, as well as the companies that will eventually occupy the buildings, is a hugely important part of our work.

“We are focused on supporting sustainable developments that create jobs and opportunities for people and businesses in the communities they occupy.  That’s why we were delighted to share insight with young people to ensure they realise the vast range of opportunities available to them when they leave school.”

As well as career talks, Legal & General will focus on working with a local supply chain to deliver its two speculative office spaces on Riverside Sunderland, which have been funded alongside City Hall, as well as Hillthorn Park which is set to progress this year.

“Social value is paramount to us, and - with every development we deliver - we are focused on providing the greatest possible economic advantage to the local community throughout the development process and thereafter, when our buildings are occupied and supporting high value jobs,” said Mike.

“We’re thrilled to have the chance to work with the local community, through this schools programme, to begin to deliver on that commitment.”

The talk, to more than 30 young people, took place on Wednesday, May 19, and the Legal & General team hopes to deliver more careers sessions with schools across the city, as the projects it is leading begin to move forward.