DEALMAKERS are pleased after seeing the fruits of two years of work with two firms who joined forces to create a green power generator in County Durham.
Law firm Ward Hadaway and accountants UNW helped brothers Antony and Adam Warren and their partner in Emerald Biogas, Ian Bainbridge, raise £8m and win planning permission for an anaerobic digestion facility, which will turn farm waste into enough electricity to power hundreds of homes.
Emerald Biogas was granted planning permission to build its food and farm waste digester on a 20-acre site at Newton Aycliffe Industrial Estate just over a year ago and now has the money together to complete the generator within a year.
The brothers run an animal by-product, food waste collection and recycling business from Bishop Auckland, called John Warren, while Ian Bainbridge owns a diverse farming, land management and plasterboard recycling business near Darlington, called Agricore.
Funding for the deal came from a mixture of loans from HSBC, RDPE grant from Defra and the Accelerating Growth Fund from waste reduction company WRAP, together with direct investment from Emerald’s directors.
Newcastle-based UNW’s team consisted of Neville Bearpark, Mark Simpson, Tim McElwaine and Katy Cheung while Newcastle-based Ward Had- away’s team was led by commercial partner Mark Whitehead alongside banking and finance partners Julie Harrison and Imogen Holland, construction partner Ralph Wrighton; property partner Helen O’Neill and associate and chartered town planner David Brocklehurst.
Simpson, senior corporate finance manager at UNW, said his firm’s role spanned project management, financial modelling, negotiations with funders and business planning and tax advice over two years.
“The launch of Emerald Biogas marks the culmination of a great deal of hard work and cooperation by all those involved.
“We have been able to draw on our long-term relationships with a broad national network of funding providers and government agencies in putting this deal together and we are very pleased with the outcome,” he said.
Emerald Biogas director, Ian Bainbridge added: “When we started working with UNW we had already managed to attract initial funding from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) but we were still some way short of the total amount required.
“Mark and the UNW team have supported us all the way and their contacts in the financial sector have been invaluable in helping us to conclude the deal successfully, especially given the current challenging marketplace. Without them we would still be seeking funding.”
Law firm Ward Hadaway provided legal advice to Emerald Biogas throughout the project.
Whitehead said: “Thanks to our expertise in renewable energy schemes and the fact that we can call on experts from a wide range of different fields, we were able to advise the directors on all the many different aspects to the project and provide a true turnkey service.”
HSBC Bank was represented by Ian Davidson, equipment finance, Alexander Pohl, head of renewables UK, Pat Dellow, area commercial director for Tyne & Wear and Ian Cameron, relationship director. Andy Tordoff and Kirsten Young represented RDPE and Claire Henson and Matthew Broadbent acted for WRAP.