Place-based inequalities are more extreme in the UK than in most comparable economies and have persisted for generations. Meanwhile, the pandemic coupled with Brexit have moved this seemingly intractable reality to the centre stage of public debate.
With the costs of the “Levelling Up” agenda expected to exceed £1 trillion over the next 10 years, there is a clear need for private capital to be mobilised alongside public investment.
Led by The Good Economy, the Impact Investing Institute and Pensions for Purpose, the place-based impact investing project was set up to explore how to scale-up institutional investment into opportunities that would connect capital to place. These investment opportunities include social and affordable housing, small business finance, clean energy, infrastructure and regeneration.
While the initial phase of the project has focused on the role of the £326bn Local Government Pension Scheme, PBII has the potential to become a new paradigm or lens for all kinds of investors. As such, this project offers exciting potential to anyone interested in exploring how investment can yield financial returns, as well as generating social and environmental impact to enhance local economic resilience and sustainable development.
The project has been funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; City of London Corporation; and Big Society Capital.