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Pension fund-backed venture wins urban regeneration mandate

Award goes to Aviva Investors’ sustainability-focused Igloo partnership

An inner city regeneration group backed by UK pension funds has won a mandate from Birmingham City Council in central England.

The award, under the European ‘Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas’ (JESSICA) initiative, went to Aviva Investors’ Manchester-based Igloo Regeneration Partnership. It follows a tender sent out in November last year.

Igloo is backed by some of the leading institutional investors in the UK.

They include: Aviva Life & Pensions, Aviva Investors (on behalf of the Environment Agency Active Pension Fund), Barclays Funds Investment Ltd., Derbyshire County Council, ING Real Estate (on behalf of a local authority client), the Lincolnshire County Council Local Government Pension Fund, RSPB Pension & Life Assurance Fund, the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority and the West Midlands Pension Fund.Birmingham had sought an Urban Development Fund Manager with specialist knowledge of JESSICA – pointing out that regeneration activity has been hit by the recession.

The initiative targeted a £20m JESSICA fund comprising a £10m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant and a £10m matched fund contribution from the partners.

“This initiative seeks to redress the lack of development finance and will establish a fund that it is hoped will also attract significant other financial resources over time,” the original tender stated.

Igloo invests in UK mixed-use real estate through sustainable place-making in partnership with the public sector and local communities. Its investments are screened with using a sustainable investment policy.