Bedfordshire and Staffordshire LGPS commit to Gresham House impact strategy

The combined £80m commitment sees the firm's sustainable infrastructure capital pool top £400m.

Bedfordshire Pension Fund and Staffordshire Pension Fund have committed a combined £80 million ($103 million; €93 million) to Gresham House’s sustainable infrastructure fund, according to a statement from the manager.

British Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (BSIF) II was launched in January 2022 and has a “place-based impact investment approach”, per the statement. The strategy is centred on the themes of decarbonisation, digital inclusion, regeneration, health and education, resource efficiency and waste solutions. It is the firm’s second generation sustainable  infrastructure vehicle; fund one closed on £300 million in 2020.

The firm has set a £500 million target for the second fund and expects to reach a final close in Q4 this year, a firm spokesperson told New Private Markets. The strategy also includes a number of region-specific co-investment vehicles totalling £120 million. At present, the firm has raised over £400 million for BSIF II and its side-car funds.

“We are committed to creating positive environmental and social change for communities here in the east of England,” Bedfordshire Pension Fund chair Doug McMurdo said. The fund has previous experience allocating to sustainable infrastructure funds, having also committed to CBRE UK Affordable Housing Fund according to NPM data.

“The scale of infrastructure investment required presents compelling opportunities to help develop the critical assets that will improve lives and deliver lasting local economic and environmental benefits,” he added.

Gresham has already deployed capital in Staffordshire as part of the strategy; fund I invested £26 million in vertical farming company Fischer Farms last year. “We view this allocation as complementary to our core infrastructure exposure and allows us to meet our commitment to place-based impact investment here in the UK,” Staffordshire Pension chair Mike Sutherland said.

Gresham House declined to comment on how the £80 million broke down between the two investors.

A London-based private markets firm, Gresham House is currently listed on the London Stock Exchange, but is widely reported to be in discussions with US buyout firm Searchlight Capital over an acquisition that would take the company private.