The Mayor of London’s Energy Efficiency Fund (‘MEEF’), managed by Amber Fund Management Limited (’Amber’), has provided over £5.4 million to the London Borough of Waltham Forest (the ‘Council’) to finance the retrofit of energy efficiency measures within the former Granada/ EMD Cinema (‘Project’) on Hoe Street in Waltham Forest.
The Council, which acquired the former Granada / EMD Cinema in 2019, is in the process of converting it into a theatre whilst preserving the unique heritage of the area. They are working in partnership with The Soho Theatre Company, who will operate the 950-seat venue, which is due to open in late 2022. The theatre will hold comedy, music and theatre performances as well as occasional one-off film events attracting new businesses to the local area improving the welfare and employment opportunities.
The MEEF funded measures will reduce the energy consumption of the building compared to a baseline by 68% and the Council’s CO2 consumption by 387 tonnes per annum. The energy conservation measures include air source heat pumps, a building fabric upgrade, new lighting and controls, a Building Management System and roof top solar photovoltaics (‘PV’). Wilmott Dixon (’WD’) has been selected as works contractor to deliver the Project for the Council.
MEEF has provided competitive and flexible, long-term finance to the Council, enabling it to accelerate the rollout of the redevelopment of the former Granada / EMD Cinema, which is one of the initiatives being undertaken to support the regeneration of the borough to support the Council’s green recovery. MEEF’s finance to the Council includes commitments from NatWest as well as the Mayor of London and Amber.
MEEF continues to target London’s public and SME sectors to support London’s Green Recovery by tackling climate change and air pollution across London. As of September 2021, MEEF has invested £86 million of funding from the Mayor of London, mobilised over £250 million of additional public or private sector funding, saved 39 million kWh of energy, delivered 28 MW of renewables and saved 15,500 tonnes of CO2 per annum.
Cllr Simon Miller, Member for Economic Growth and Housing Development, London Borough of Waltham Forest said: “Here in Waltham Forest we are focused on creating a borough that is economic resilient and sustainable, and are delighted that this funding from the Mayor’s Energy Efficiency Fund is being invested into retrofitting the former Granada/EMD with green technology to reduce energy consumption. Not only will this become a wonderful cultural destination for local people and the rest of London, but to know we are doing it in a way that reduces our carbon footprint and addresses the climate emergency is hugely exciting.”
Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues said: “This exciting new theatre is part of Waltham Forest’s London Borough of Culture 2019 legacy commitment and we’re delighted that it’s receiving an upgrade to help reduce carbon emissions.
“The Mayor of London’s Energy Efficiency Fund will help equip the restored building with heat pumps and solar panels which will significantly cut carbon emissions and reduce energy bills. With COP26 just a few weeks away, it’s vital that London’s businesses work to reduce their energy consumption and their impact on emissions. This project is an inspiration for other cultural venues across London seeking the necessary financing to future-proof their buildings for a net-zero future.”
Jo Patrick, Head of Sustainable Energy at Amber Infrastructure: “We are extremely pleased that MEEF is involved in the funding of this exciting Project in Waltham Forest given that it will provide a new entertainment and cultural hub for the community with the latest green technology.”
Colin Lowen, Director – Local Government & Social Housing at NatWest: “As a part-funder of this project, NatWest is delighted to have enabled Waltham Forest to improve the energy efficiency of the cinema and also supported the delivery of the arts within the London Borough. The financing of energy efficient projects like this is a key area of focus for NatWest as we work to help our customers transition to net zero. NatWest achieved net zero for our own direct operation in 2020 and we aim to be climate positive by 2025.”
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Further information on MEEF can be found at: www.meef.co.uk
NOTES TO EDITORS:
MEEF was established by the GLA in 2018 and is managed by Amber Infrastructure. MEEF provides a mixture of senior debt, mezzanine debt and equity to London’s public-sector property owners and small-to-medium-sized businesses, including but not exclusively, Local Authorities, NHS Trusts, Registered Providers, Higher and Further Education organisations, Charities and Voluntary Organisations, ESCOs and SMEs. MEEF can fund both up to 100 per cent of the capital cost of a project and part-fund large-scale regeneration projects which demonstrate low-carbon credentials.
ABOUT AMBER INFRASTRUCTURE GROUP
Amber Infrastructure (‘Amber’) is a specialist international investment manager, focused on investment origination, asset management and fund management. Amber’s core business focuses on sourcing, developing, advising, investing in and managing infrastructure assets across the public, transport, energy, digital and demographic infrastructure sectors that support the lives of people, homes and businesses internationally.
Amber is headquartered in London with offices in Europe, North America and Australia and employs over 150 infrastructure professionals.
ABOUT EUROPEAN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND
MEEF is receiving up to £51.2 million of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding