South Yorkshire region to benefit from £500m ‘Levelling Up’ local investment

Following its initial £80m commitment to development lending in South Yorkshire, the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority is now designing a Place Based Impact Investment Portfolio which will have a clearer focus on long term local investment, mostly, within South Yorkshire with capital being deployed over the next five to 10 years.

The portfolio will have five elements with local development lending, housing and local venture capital allocations from the investment portfolio being wholly focussed on South Yorkshire.

Other elements of the portfolio covering specialist housing and traditional private equity and private debt investment will be selected for both their return and impact characteristics and the Pensions Authority will look to work with Fund Managers to direct some of their investment into South Yorkshire.

This new investment approach is set out in a plan to be approved by the Pensions Authority at its meeting on March 16 which responds to proposals in the Levelling Up White Paper that Local Government Pension Funds should invest more in supporting the process of “Levelling Up”.

The Pensions Authority’s approach concentrates on two elements of the ‘Levelling Up’ missions, Productivity and Community, where there are “genuinely commercial investment opportunities”.

The Productivity mission will see investments creating well-paying jobs, stimulating innovation, improving living standards, providing SME and Start Up Finance and the use of Net Zero Technologies.

Meanwhile, the Community element would see a boost in the local housing stock, with improved standards for new homes, support with decarbonisation and the provision of special needs housing for the region.

The new portfolio which will over time build up to around £500m will help to deliver these key priorities for South Yorkshire, while allowing the Authority to achieve their expected returns on investments so that it has cash available to pay pensions when they are due.

Councillor John Mounsey, the chair of the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority, commented: “We are proud to be able to support South Yorkshire’s economy with more local investment than ever before with our new Place Based Impact Portfolio.

“This approach will really help to boost our area’s economy, providing new homes, environmentally sustainable industrial developments and providing quality jobs for the community whilst allowing the Authority to make the returns we need to continue to pay our members pensions each month.”

By Matthew Neville – Senior Correspondent, Bdaily

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