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£15m Low Carbon Fund launches in Greater Manchester

A new loan fund to promote the production and distribution of energy derived from renewable resources has been launched by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

The £15 million Greater Manchester Low Carbon Fund is aimed at the region’s property developers and infrastructure providers to encourage the use of renewable energy in development schemes.

The fund, which has been allocated from the 2014-2020 European Regional Development Fund and has a lifespan of 15 years, will be used to finance projects which would not attract traditionally commercial finance due to the relatively new technology involved, or projects that would be improved through the Low Carbon Fund’s expertise.

Investment that is then repaid by projects will be recycled into further projects across the Greater Manchester region over the 15-year period.

The new fund will work closely with the Greater Manchester European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) fund, managed by the combined authority that provides grant funding, to support the early stage development of projects that deliver savings in energy consumption and carbon emissions for energy network and street lighting projects.

Example projects include wind turbines that are either dedicated to a development or a wind farm, projects generating energy from waste and landfill or Biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems that generate electricity and heat powered by renewable woodchips.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham says: “The Greater Manchester Combined Authority is pleased to launch our new Low Carbon Fund that will encourage the use of renewable energy in property developments and infrastructure projects while also providing commercial investment in Greater Manchester.

“This announcement comes at an exciting time as we this month we are holding Greater Manchester’s landmark first Green Summit which will set out how we will become one of the leading green cities in Europe.”

John Tatham at GVA, which is managing the fund, adds: “This is GVA’s first fund under management, and to be working with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority is a strong endorsement of our capability in this area.

“The benefits that the fund can bring to developers and the environment are vast, as is the scope for the funding, which could include anything from district heating technology to wind farms to reduce region’s carbon footprint.”