Low Carbon Workplace programme hits "critical mass" as fund clears £100m

Global real estate investor The Townsend Group has this week announced a “significant equity commitment” in the UK-based Threadneedle Low-Carbon Workplace Trust (LCW), taking the green property investment fund past the £100m mark.

The fund, which was launched in 2010, is the brainchild of a consortium involving property investment manager Threadneedle Investments, commercial real estate developer Stanhope, and consultancy the Carbon Trust.

It invests in the refurbishment of properties in line with the latest low carbon standards and then offers tenants on-going support to help ensure they maximise the energy efficiency of the building.

The group says that in meeting growing demand for low carbon properties from high quality occupiers it can deliver long term and stable returns for investors.

Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said the latest funding boost represented a “major shot in the arm” for the low carbon office sector, ahead of the opening next month of the LCW’s first building, The Billings in Guildford.

LCW now boasts four projects under development and is in advanced negotiations to add two more offices to its portfolio.

Early indications are that the forecasted return on equity across the four projects is in excess of 20 per cent, beating the fund’s target of 15 per cent.

Don Jordison, managing director of Threadneedle Property, said the LCW Trust had now reached “critical mass”, adding that “Townsend’s investment further validates the strength of the investment case for this fund”.

The precise amount of The Townsend Group’s investment was not disclosed, but the Financial Times reported that the fund had received a boost of around £35m.

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