GIB backed Equitix Fund Signs First £10m Energy Efficiency Investment in Roundwood Energy Limited - Deal will fund the conversion of smaller scale heating systems to sustainable biomass boilers
The Equitix managed fund, Energy Saving Investments (ESI), in which the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) is a cornerstone investor, has today announced an investment of £4.9 million into its first energy efficiency project. This investment mobilises a further £5.1 million of investment from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF). The project will see inefficient heating systems, in both public and private community facilities, replaced with biomass boilers.
The £10 million investment is being made through Roundwood Energy Limited (Roundwood), an energy services company responsible for financing, installing, maintaining and fuelling the new renewable heating systems for up to 20 years. Roundwood is supported by its technology partner, Woodpecker Energy Limited, a well-established UK based manufacturer of wood pellet and wood chip biomass boilers. Roundwood will transform heating systems installed across the UK by replacing old, high maintenance and inefficient equipment that use fossil fuels with the latest biomass boiler technology.
The ESI fund forms part of GIB’s allocation of investment into one of its priority sectors, non-domestic energy efficiency (NDEE). GIB awarded the competitive fund mandate to Equitix to invest £50 million, matched by private investors, to drive investment in small-scale low carbon infrastructure requiring less than £30 million of financing. Equitix has also established EEEF to make investments into the energy efficiency sector, including as co-investors alongside ESI.
The investment announced today could fund over 60 projects, benefitting a varied mix of public and private sector organisations including include care homes, leisure centres, schools and other local authority properties, together with a range of commercial facilities. In addition to supporting the green economy and significantly reducing carbon emissions, switching to biomass boilers could save customers up to 30% on their energy bills. Applications are now open and customers will not need an upfront capital investment to make the switch.
The boilers will be fuelled by sustainably sourced wood pellets and as a result CO2 emissions are expected to be cut by around 150,000 tonnes CO2 over the 20 year life of the investment. They will use sustainable ENplus A1 standard pellets, manufactured in the UK. These pellets produce the least amount of ash and fulfill the highest European requirements. Woodpecker is based in Yeovil, Somerset and it manufactures its core range of pellet boilers in Northern Ireland.
Shaun Kingsbury, chief executive, UK Green Investment Bank, said:
“The Green Investment Bank is helping to fund energy efficiency measures for everyone from our largest companies, to individual households through the Green Deal. Today’s announcement will provide a low-cost and straightforward way for a range of organisations like schools, leisure centres and local businesses to switch their old, inefficient and high emission boilers for new energy efficient biomass ones; saving energy, cutting emissions and saving them money.”
Geoff Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Equitix said, “Starting this programme demonstrates the viability of these projects to commercial customers who wish to achieve energy savings and a reduction in carbon emissions. The growing pipeline of similar future projects makes this an attractive sector for our investors.”
Paul Hughes, Director of Roundwood Energy said, “We are delighted to have received the support and backing of both the UK Green Investment Bank and Equitix. This backing allows Roundwood to offer a groundbreaking long-term solution for customers to reduce their energy bills and their carbon emissions without the need for up-front capital investment. This is good for customers and good for the environment”.
Equitix Acquires a 50% Shareholding in the Garrett Anderson Centre
Equitix is pleased to announce the acquisition of a 50% stake in the Prospect Healthcare (Ipswich) Limited, Garrett Anderson Centre from Kier Project Investments Limited. The scheme reached financial close in March 2006 and achieved practical completion in April 2009.
The Garrett Anderson Centre is located within the grounds of the Ipswich General Hospital site and provides a multi-functional healthcare facility that includes: an Accident & Emergency Department with 19 adult treatment rooms, 4 children’s treatment rooms, a resuscitation room, 2 X-ray rooms and a 22 bed Critical Care Unit. The facility also provides a day surgery with 4 theatres including adult and paediatric bays and a 40 bed short stay ward.
Hard FM services are provided by Kier Facilities Services and include mechanical, electrical, public health and building fabric maintenance and the provision of Grounds maintenance, Helpdesk Management, Utilities Management and Pest Control.
Equitix Acquires Stake in Wigan Joint Services Centre
Equitix have acquired a 50% stake in the Wigan Joint Services Centre PFI Project from Community Solutions for Leisure Limited, a subsidiary of Morgan Sindall Investments Limited. The scheme reached Financial Close in June 2009 and construction completed in December 2011.
The PFI scheme is a leisure, health, learning and information complex that includes a one-stop shop for all public services. The development comprises a community of spaces grouped around a central organising hub, with an objective of revitalising the town's civic heart. The state of the art facility has retained its original 1930's terracotta north facade, preserving and upholding Wigan's rich heritage. The facilities include a 14,563m² Healthy Living Zone and 5,358m² Information and Learning Zone. The former houses a 25 metre public swimming pool with moveable floor and separate learning pool. The Information and Learning Zone includes a central library with separate children's and teenage libraries, open-plan administration offices and piazza.
FM services are provided by Hochtief Facility Management UK Ltd.
Equitix’s Stake in Inverclyde Schools Increased to 85%
Further to the acquisition of a 60% stake in the Inverclyde Schools Project in January 2012, Equitix has acquired a further 25% stake from Semperian. The project comprises two primary schools and two secondary schools to the West of Glasgow city. Equitix Fund II attained Sweett Group’s 19% share holding and Millers 41% share of the project in January 2012 leaving FES with the remaining stake in the assets.
The new schools in total accommodate up to 2724 pupils in the Greenock area and have seen the amalgamation of a number of different primary schools and nurseries into two primary schools and four secondary schools into two sites. Construction was completed by Miller and FM is provided by FES FM Limited.
Equitix Chosen as Preferred Bidder for North Tyne Housing Project
The Equitix led consortium, Solutions 4 North Tyneside comprising Equitix, Miller Construction and Keepmoat, has been selected as the preferred bidder to deliver the £300 million partnership to regenerate North Tyneside’s sheltered housing. The consortium will be responsible for delivering state-of-the-art sheltered housing, designed to meet the future needs of the local population and includes 900 apartments across 10 new and 16 refurbished sheltered housing schemes. The initiative will be a major construction project for the region, creating up to 500 jobs.
Miller Construction and Keepmoat will carry out the refurbishment and construction work. Lovell Respond will be responsible for the Facilities Management cleaning, repair and maintenance over the 28 year contract.
It is expected work will start on site later this year and all the schemes will be completed by autumn 2016.
Fiona Stokes, Bid Manager for Solutions 4 North Tyneside stated “The consortium have worked together with North Tyneside Council for the last 5 years and are committed to delivering the best possible schemes to the local residents.
“The initiative is an significant project for the region and will not only benefit the residents inhabiting the homes but as it is expected to be the largest housing project in the region over the next 3 years, it will also provide a major opportunity for the local work force giving a great boost to the economy.
“We are very pleased to be part of this exciting scheme.”
‘Topping Out’ the Portway Lifestyle Centre
A topping out ceremony has marked a major milestone in the development of the £18m leisure, health and wellbeing centre in Oldbury, West Midlands.
The Centre is the result of a partnership between the Sandwell Council, Sandwell Leisure Trust, the PCT and Sandwell LIFTCo, aided by the £1.5 million awarded from Sport England from its Olympic legacy programme, Iconic Facilities. It will offer people access to state-of-the-art sport, leisure and health facilities, including a GP surgery – Portway Family Practice, which will replace the Tividale Family Practice.
There will be a four-court sports hall to be used for various sporting activities, a hydro-therapy pool for rehabilitation and other therapeutic purposes, a sensory room, a climbing wall, dance studio, fitness suite and a full-sized, all-weather pitch for senior, junior and 5-a-side football. In addition, a life trail for gentle exercise will be created for those requiring gentle exercise and re-ablement. There will also be a café and ample parking on-site.
Sandwell LIFTCo are building the centre which is due to open to the public in September 2013. It will be fully accessible to the disabled and non-disabled and will be operated by the leisure trust, ensuring a real lifeline for the people of Sandwell. Portway Lifestyle Centre is a real example of the vision and commitment of public and private sector partners working together to deliver excellence for local communities.
Sandwell Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for strategic resources, Councillor Steve Eling, said: “This is an exciting moment for the borough as we pass another major milestone on the way to the Portway Lifestyle Centre’s first day of opening. “The lifestyle centre will provide state-of-the-art leisure, health and social care facilities and be a major asset to people in Sandwell and the wider area.
“It is a key part of the massive regeneration programme which has taken place in the borough in recent years and shows we can deliver even in tough economic times.”
Equitix/Miller Consortium selected as Preferred Bidder for new Inverness College UHI
The Equitix and Miller Construction consortium has been selected as the preferred bidder to build and maintain the new £60 million Inverness College University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) campus facility. Inverness College UHI, has more than 8,500 students and is one of 13 partners in theUHI network of colleges and research centres. The College is moving from Longman in Inverness to the new campus on the outskirts of the city.
We are extremely pleased to have been selected as the preferred bidder to develop and deliver this project ...
Nick Parker of Equitix
Nick Parker of Equitix said: "We are extremely pleased to have been selected as the preferred bidder to develop and deliver this project which will bring employment initiatives benefitting the local community as well as the students of the Highlands and Islands."
All being well, construction is expected to start on site in May 2013 and will be completed in time for the beginning of the 2015 term, whereby the maintenance and lifecycle services will commence.
Equitix Led Consortium Chosen as Preferred Bidder for Brunswick Social Housing Project
Manchester City Council has chosen the Equitix led consortium, Solutions 4 Brunswick (S4B) as their preferred partner to deliver the £113 million regeneration plans in the area, which will start once planning permission has been agreed later in the year.
S4B is made up of four specialist organisations that will work together injecting their own skills and expertise in different areas.
1. Equitix, contract manager who will oversee the project to make sure each of the organisations deliver a good service to Brunswick people.
2. Contour Homes, one of the North West’s largest social housing and regeneration providers, will manage the council homes and look after the neighbourhood for the next 25 years,
3. Mears, a maintenance company will refurbish existing council homes and manage repair work for the length of the contract,
4. Galliford Try, a construction firm which will build new infrastructure and homes for sale and rent. The 25-year regeneration project will bring large investment to the area that has seen development postponed for several years, but this decision opens the door for plans to be finalised.
Brunswick's regeneration plans will include:
- more than 650 council homes enjoying extensive refurbishments that will exceed decent homes standards,
- up to 500 high quality new homes will be built for rent or purchase,
- an improved neighbourhood design – including new road layouts and safe open spaces,
- a new retail area will provide shops and amenities, along with a new neighbourhood office and a 60 bed sheltered accommodation facility.
As part of the regeneration plans for the area, S4B will also offer a wide range of opportunities for residents and locals. These include jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities, as well as work experience and the prospect of working with community groups in the area.
In the coming months, S4B will continue to consult with residents while preparing and submitting a planning application for the development, before the government consider the plans for approval in spring.
Andy Rymer, General Manager for S4B, said: “We have been dedicated to developing deliverable and vibrant plans for the Brunswick area for the last five years, so to be chosen as preferred partner is fantastic news for the whole team. "Brunswick benefits from a strong sense of community and enjoys a great location on the city centre’s doorstep. The area deserves and needs substantial investment to bring the homes and environment up to decent modern homes standards set by the government. We look forward to speaking directly to residents and local stakeholders to give them a real insight into our plans, which we believe will transform the neighbourhood and provide a legacy for future generations."
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