A £15 million fund designed to promote the production and distribution of energy from renewable resources in Greater Manchester has launched today (9 March).

The Greater Manchester Low Carbon Fund aims to make it easier for property developers and infrastructure providers to use renewable energy in development schemes.

Launched by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the fund will be managed by real estate advisory service, GVA.

It will offer loans to fund projects, which would not attract traditionally commercial finance due to the “relatively new” technology involved, or projects that would be improved through the fund’s expertise.

Loans will be repaid by projects over a 15-year period with the investment redistributed into further projects across the region.

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

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “This announcement comes at an exciting time as this month we are holding Greater Manchester’s landmark first Green Summit [21 March 2018] which will set out how we will become one of the leading green cities in Europe.

“I look forward to working together with GVA, developers and infrastructure providers as we use this fund to achieve our goal of reducing carbon emissions across the region by 2020 and investing across Greater Manchester to drive sustainable economic growth.”

John Tatham, fund manager at GVA, added: “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.”

The project has been allocated from the 2014-2020 European Regional Development Fund and will work closely with the Greater Manchester European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA), managed by the Combined Authority.

Under the new arrangements, the ELENA Fund can aid with upfront project costs with the Low Carbon Fund following on with commercial investment.

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