The Mayor’s London Green Fund has not found any commercially viable co-operative or community-led projects to invest in, the London Assembly heard this week[1].

The Fund was set up in 2009 with £100m[2] to invest on commercial rates to projects in the capital with a positive impact on the environment. Returns from the loans and investments would then be reinvested in future schemes.

At a meeting of the Assembly’s Health and Environment Committee, Andrew Page, a Partner at fund managers Foresight Group LLP, expressed disappointment about the lack of commercially viable community-led projects that had come forward and said he would like to see more, perhaps along the lines of community wind farms found in Scandinavia.

The Committee heard that so far about 20 per cent of the fund had been allocated[3], with other projects under consideration. The money must be invested by the end of 2015.

Murad Qureshi AM, Chair of the Health and Environment Committee said:

“It’s a great disappointment that more community-led schemes have not benefited from the London Green Fund and I would call on any community group with a commercially viable scheme to get in touch and make their case.

“While it’s too early to say how successful the London Green Fund will be, with £100m to invest, the fund could make a big difference to some very worthwhile projects. Our Committee will continue to monitor the progress of the scheme over the coming years.”

Notes for Editors:

  1. Watch a webcast of the meeting. Comments about co-operatives are about 1hr 30min in.
  2. The £100m comes from a variety of sources. £50m from the European Regional Development Fund, £32 from the former London Development Agency and £18m from the London Waste and Recycling Board. £85m of this has been allocated to two funds, investing in waste management and energy efficiency projects. The funds must raise a further £85m from the private sector, of which £75m has been achieved so far. More information about the London Green Fund
  3. £11.5m has been invested in a plastics recycling centre and a bio-gas plant, and £19.8m loaned to a public art gallery for energy efficiency works.
  4. Meetings of the Health and Environment Committee