UK Nature Accelerator
The UK Nature Accelerator (the Accelerator) will operate as the technical assistance programme for the UK Nature Impact Fund (UK Nature) with the aim of developing projects for investment from UK Nature. The Accelerator will be delivered by Finance Earth’s advisory team on behalf of UK Nature and is launching in advance of the first close of investment.
UK Nature is a pioneering, high-impact investment fund that will support high-quality projects and businesses engaged in the restoration of nature across land, river, coastal and marine environments, helping to deliver much-needed financing for the recovery of UK biodiversity.
For projects that are already investment ready, UK Nature, once open, will be able to offer funding for development and delivery of projects.
A project that is likely to be considered investment-ready by UK Nature will have a completed investment case including (amongst other things) a defined and evidenced funding need based on a robust and comprehensive financial model, a clear route to market with evidence of demand, evidenced buy-in from key stakeholders, including landowners, delivery partners, and the local community.
UK Nature may refer projects that are almost investment ready (or near investment), to the Accelerator to receive further support to close the last mile to investment readiness.
A project that is likely to be considered near-investment, and therefore may be eligible for the Accelerator will likely have an initial headline investment case including an overview of target market(s) ecosystem services generation potential over project lifetime, initial evidence of demand for ecosystem services and evidence of stakeholder engagement and buy in (e.g. landowner, local community), and initial cost projections for the full project lifetime.
In order to be considered for the Accelerator, UK Nature will expect to see the key management team and delivery partners with appropriate experience identified, and dedicated resource in place to support project development and Accelerator delivery.
What will the Accelerator offer?
The Accelerator will provide the following services to enable participants to overcome the final hurdles involved in readying NbS projects for investment:
- Technical Assistance: Support in developing financial models, transaction structures and contracting; everything you need to build and refine the project’s investment case
- Capacity Building Support: Guidance in developing key in-house skills for successful project delivery so project developers can repeat the process themselves
- Resources: blueprint documentation and template models to allow project developers to understand how to deliver investment across more projects
With a subsidised funding structure and contributions available from the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Accelerator represents a cost-effective opportunity for participants to deliver investment-ready projects and to scale up high integrity NbS project delivery.
By entering into the Accelerator, project sponsors will need to commit a fee based on the number of projects being submitted (with match funding provided by Defra), and ensure adequate internal resource is committed to support projects being submitted.
More details on the Accelerator, what it will provide and how it will work will be provided to applicants at the point of application. If you would like more details ahead of application please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why has the Accelerator been developed?
The UK NbS investment market is rapidly growing but remains at a nascent stage with a limited pipeline of investment-ready projects. There is therefore a growing need for ‘last mile’ technical assistance and extra support in developing investment ready projects, including:
- Refining investment cases
- Completing financial models
- Designing transaction structures and contracting mechanisms
- Developing project and transaction documents
- Finalising key project contractual terms
The lack of support available for these final stages is currently constraining the route to investment for high-integrity NbS projects, limiting the flow of investment into nature recovery in the UK. The Accelerator aims to prepare NbS projects for investment and unlock institutional, repayable finance (such as that provided by occupational pension schemes, to give one example) at scale for nature recovery.
To express an interest in being a funding partner to the Accelerator, please get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Entry into the Accelerator does not guarantee investment by UK Nature. All investment decisions are made by the UK Nature Investment Committee, which is distinct to the technical support received via the Accelerator.
The contents of this page are not a financial promotion and none of the information on this page constitutes an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity. If you are in any doubt as to the appropriate course of action, we would recommend that you consult your own independent financial adviser, stockbroker, solicitor, accountant or other professional adviser.