£4m project launched to finance local green spaces


Partners across Greater Manchester have launched a project to develop innovative ways of attracting private investment in urban greening, such as green roofs and nature-based solutions to flooding.

The first-of-its-kind IGNITION initiative, which will run for up to three years, brings together 12 local and national partners to come up with new ways of financing the green infrastructure cities need to respond to the effects of climate change.

The partners, which range from city councils and local universities to United Utilities and the Environment Agency, will identify sites within Greater Manchester where ‘natural capital’ climate adaptation projects can manage urban flood and overheating risks.

These small nature-based solutions - which can improve air quality, increase biodiversity, slow the flow of excess water and combat over-heating - will then be brought together into larger investible packages of projects at around the £10 million scale, ensuring they are attractive to private investors.

‘Global model for investors’

The announcement marks significant progress against Greater Manchester’s Natural Capital Investment Plan, which was one of the key pillars of Greater Manchester’s second annual Green Summit on 25 March.

Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, commented: “The Environment Agency is particularly excited about our support for the development of IGNITION in Greater Manchester.

“The project…sets a target of a 10 per cent increase in green infrastructure in Greater Manchester by 2038. Over the next three years it will create and finance natural climate adaptation projects that are attractive to private investors, and create the mechanisms and confidence for investments in ‘blue and green’ infrastructure.

“By generating a return while greening Manchester, the project could provide a model for investors around the world that would help ‘green finance’ for urban infrastructure to go mainstream.”


Posted under General Interest, Financial and Professional Services and Public / Government / Charity on 3 April 2019