Shepherd and Wedderburn has advised Amber Infrastructure Limited and the SPRUCE fund in arranging an £11m loan facility which will allow work to start on the University of St Andrews’ £25m green energy centre on the 36-acre site of a former paper mill at Guardbridge.
Over 225 jobs will be created during the construction phase with the University pledging apprenticeships, and local companies being encouraged to bid for sub-contracts. Hot water from the plant will be pumped underground to heat and cool laboratories and student residences in St Andrews. It will use only wood from sustainable local forests as biomass.
SPRUCE (the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres), the Amber-managed fund which offers loans to regeneration and energy efficiency projects in 13 local authority areas in Scotland, is the sole lender to the project. The Scottish Funding Council and the University itself have granted £10m and £4m to the project, respectively.
Patrick Bell, Banking and Finance Partner, who led the Shepherd and Wedderburn team on the transaction, commented:
“We were delighted to advise Amber and the SPRUCE fund on this latest in a series of transactions, highlighting our continued leadership in the Energy and Natural Resources sector in Scotland.”
Cameron Cook, Head of Origination for Amber Infrastructure in Scotland, said:
“The Guardbridge Energy Centre is a ground-breaking initiative that will deliver significant economic activity within the area and substantial environmental benefits through carbon dioxide savings. Amber and the SPRUCE Fund are delighted to be participating in the project, realising SPRUCE’s ambitions to help develop social, economic, and green infrastructure in Scotland.”
Other highlights for Shepherd and Wedderburn in the energy sector in March include completion of the firm’s work in the development of Green Investment Bank’s Green Loan used in the first stage funding of the Glasgow Street Lighting project, and also the appointment of one of its partners, Patricia Hawthorn, to the role of Chairman at Scottish Renewables.
About Amber Infrastructure Limited and SPRUCE
Amber Infrastructure is a leading developer and advisor on infrastructure projects in both the ‘primary’ development and ‘secondary’ investment markets. It offers loans and equity investments to revenue generating infrastructure and energy efficiency projects to support regeneration in 13 eligible local authority areas in Scotland. www.amberinfrastructure.com
SPRUCE is part of the Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA) programme which is being implemented across Europe with the assistance of the European Investment Bank, offering a unique opportunity for public and private co-investment in regeneration and energy developments. SPRUCE is one of three Amber JESSICA funds under management, making it the European market leader in investing JESSICA public funds for a financial and socio-economic return.
The £50 million SPRUCE Fund supports a range of regeneration projects across Scotland. More information is available at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Built-Environment/regeneration/investment/spruce