Foresight Group eyes growth in the north west as solar portfolio increases

Foresight Group has announced plans to continue the growth it experienced over 2015 with proposals for a new office in Manchester.

The infrastructure and private equity investment firm currently has 68 operational solar assets across the UK, US and Southern Europe, with generating capacity of 660MW. The Foresight Solar Fund listed vehicle has operational assets worth 338MW of capacity, bringing the total UK assets to 577MW.

The company's other environmental concerns include three funds announced over the course of 2015, such as the £50m Recycling and Waste (RAW) fund, corner-stoned by the Green Investment Bank, which targets small scale waste and recycling projects in the UK.

It has also deployed two institutional funds; the £60 million Foresight Environmental Fund (FEF) and the £78 million UK Waste Resources and Energy Investments (UKWREI) Fund, which is being used to invest in 18 waste projects across the UK. These schemes will have a waste processing capacity of more than 1 million tonnes per annum when fully operational, generating 126MW of renewable energy with a total capital value of more than £800 million.

The new Manchester office forms part of the company’s efforts to increase activity in the North West, which will be helped by a new regional investment fund of the region. The fund will seek to invest in SMEs in the area, as well as some in South Yorkshire and North Wales.

The group has also recently promoted three of its team to the level of partner. James Livingston, Dan Wells and James Samworth, who were respectively former directors of the private equity, infrastructure and environmental teams, are expected to add strength and depth to the senior management team, which now numbers 12 partners.

Bernard Fairman, chairman of Foresight, said: “As our business continues its rapid expansion, we will continue to promote regularly to add partners who are able to contribute significant value add to the business.

“James, Dan and James have already made terrific contributions to their respective areas of focus, and we are delighted to welcome them formally into the partnership, where I am confident they will all continue to help us in achieving our aims.”