GM is the home of Defra’s Urban Pioneer Programme, chosen to test new tools and methods for investing in and managing the natural environment. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) identified the need to establish a Natural Capital Investment Plan (NCIP) to mobilise additional sources of funding to effectively manage the city’s important natural capital resources.
Through the development of the NCIP, investment opportunities have been identified where there is potential to generate revenues and enable new forms of finance to be accessed. To enable high potential projects to progress to raise investment, organisations require funding to prepare natural capital business models that evidence their investability.
An appropriately designed Investment Readiness Fund could provide the required technical assistance and capacity funding to project developers to build a pipeline of investable opportunities. This would enable the recommendations in the NCIP to be implemented and provide the conditions for increased investment in GM’s natural capital.
This case study sets out an outline for the journey GM has been through to build support for natural capital investment, and recommendations for the next stage in the IRF development process. The IRF delivery process (including operational management) is not considered at this stage, and should be determined during the design phase. An initial scoping of delivery options should be carried out to be tested with potential funders and refined based on their feedback.