The North of Tyne Combined Authority has joined with an infrastructure investment group to launch an £18m Green New Deal Fund (GNDF) as part of the authority’s effort to achieve net zero.

The fund, which has been launched in partnership with Amber Infrastructure Group, will catalyse investment in low carbon technologies and support the development of green jobs and skills across both the private and public sectors.

The GNDF can provide loans, equity and grants to fund small and medium sized projects that deliver significant carbon and energy savings in the region’s green and low carbon industries.

Projects that the fund can support include community energy schemes, Electric Vehicle (‘EV’) charging solutions, building retrofits, small scale renewables, natural capital and low carbon heating systems.

‘The launch of the Green New Deal Fund signals our region’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions and support the growth of the green economy here in the North East,’ said Cllr Nick Forbes, portfolio holder for jobs, innovation and growth.

‘Investing in projects that are creating new, innovative solutions to address decarbonisation will position the North East at the forefront of the UK’s green industrial revolution, and see the region become a major destination for skills in green jobs.

‘The Green New Deal Fund gives businesses in the North of Tyne Combined Authority the opportunity to play a leading role in helping the UK reach its net zero target by 2050.’

Giles Frost, chairman of Amber Infrastructure commented: ‘The GNDF is an exciting new fund that Amber is delighted to be delivering in partnership with the North of Tyne Combined Authority.

‘This fund will help to support growing businesses and develop talent in the low carbon sector, whilst also acting as a catalyst for inward investment in the region. The fund’s launch is very timely, following COP 26 and builds on Amber's success in managing low carbon and energy efficiency focused funds elsewhere in the UK.’

Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor, added: ‘The world has accepted that we need to hit net-zero as soon as possible. Offshore wind and electric vehicles are essential components. But what about the micro-solutions at a local level? How do we help organisations and communities install heat pumps and micro-generation and even basics like insulation?

‘Our Green New Deal gives them access to the capital they need to reduce carbon emissions now. They will repay the fund over time allowing more investment to help other people. The North of Tyne Green New Deal Fund will create jobs, reduce emissions, and save money – it’s the kind of innovation that’s needed for local areas to become net-zero.’