The second round of the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund is now open for applications.
The fund of up to £10 million will provide grants of up to £100,000 to environmental groups, local authorities, businesses and other organisations to help them develop nature projects in England to a point where they can attract private investment.
Examples of projects funded by the first round include Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s scheme to raise investment to restore peatland through the Greater Manchester Environment Fund by modelling revenues from the sale of carbon and biodiversity credits through woodland creation and increasing biodiversity, and Swinton Estate in North Yorkshire, working to develop a new business model for multi-functional forestry to realise wider benefits from carbon sequestration, biodiversity credits, recreation, and water quality.
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said:
The climate and nature emergencies are entwined, protecting and enhancing the domestic natural environment will help protect investments from climate disruption and deliver steady long-term returns.
The Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund is already showing how different revenue models stimulate investment. We need major investors to recreate these at pace and on a much larger scale. COP26 has focused attention on preparing for climate shocks using nature-based solutions. Alongside public sector investment, the private sector must be encouraged and supported to find the opportunity in protecting nature and managing climate change.
Two events are planned for December to support potential applicants:
- NEIRF Round 2 Introductory Session: Exploring opportunities for the Farming Community – 9.30am on Thursday 9th December. Register here.
- NEIRF Round 2 Introductory Session: Exploring opportunities for local government – 10.00am on Friday 10th December. Register here.
The fund will be open for applications until 3 February. Application forms and guidance can be found on Gov.uk. Further information including FAQs and case studies are available on the dedicated NEIRF SharePoint site, where forthcoming events will be published. If you would like access, or have any other questions, please email: NEIRF@environment-agency.gov.uk