Foresight completes investment into Lightning Fibre to bring hyperfast broadband connectivity to the South East

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  • Investment to accelerate installation of a hyperfast Full Fibre network across East Sussex, starting in Eastbourne and Hastings
  • Bringing benefits for businesses and the environment, creating jobs and boosting the local community and economy
  • Foresight is a committed infrastructure investor actively financing green and core infrastructure projects, bringing clean energy and now superior digital connectivity to households and businesses across the UK

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London, 05 October 2020:  Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”), a leading infrastructure and private equity investment manager, has completed a long-term financing agreement with Lightning Fibre, a community-minded Full Fibre network provider based in East Sussex.

Foresight’s investment will accelerate the development of Lightning Fibre’s Fibre-to-the-Premises (“FTTP”) network in East Sussex, starting with the coastal towns of Eastbourne and Hastings.  Lightning Fibre will build, install and operate new full fibre infrastructure across the region, delivering hyperfast broadband of up to 1Gbps to over 100,000 homes and businesses currently served by ageing copper infrastructure. Its fast expanding network is already established in Eastbourne and will help meet the rapidly increasing data consumption demands of consumers and businesses.

Helen Downie, Senior Investment Manager, Foresight commented: “We are impressed by the ambition of the management team and the progress Lightning Fibre has already made in bringing hyperfast broadband connectivity to businesses and homes in East Sussex.  We are pleased to be able to play an active part in the development of this important digital infrastructure project that will support the competitiveness of UK plc and a robust recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. At Foresight, we are committed to investing for a smarter future, creating a sustainable legacy for future generations.”

Ben Ferriman, CEO of Lightning Fibre, added: “The backing received from Foresight is a great endorsement of the management team and the company. With funding now secured, we can accelerate our build programme in Eastbourne and Hastings providing multi-gigabit Full Fibre broadband to everyone we pass. Lightning Fibre builds high quality networks and delivers to our customers a high-quality service at an affordable and competitive price. We strongly believe in our regional strategy and that starts with levelling up Eastbourne and Hastings.”

Foresight is a leading ESG and sustainable investment manager and studies have shown full fibre optic networks support lower greenhouse gas emissions and promote wider access to employment and education. This agreement with Lightning Fibre will create local jobs and enhance essential local infrastructure as well as accelerating the development of a fast fibre network to support the UK’s digital ambitions.

The UK Government has committed to bringing gigabit-capable broadband to every home in the UK by the end of 2025.  Currently just 14% of the UK has access to full fibre broadband and it is estimated that an investment of £30bn over the next five years is required.  With changing behaviours and work patterns forced on educational establishments, organisations and businesses by the pandemic restrictions, the UK has seen a huge surge in demand for fast and stable digital communications.

Foresight’s advisers included Acuity Advisors, CMS and Analysys Mason while Lightning Fibre was advised by EMC Corporate Finance and DMH Stallard.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Caroline Merrell / Toby Moore, Citigate Dewe Rogerson 07852 210329 / 07768 981 763

Ben Thompson, Foresight : bthompson@foresightgroup.eu | +44 (0)20 3667 8155

Notes for editors

About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”):

Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 36 years.

Foresight has over £6.5 billion of Assets Under Management of which £3.7 billion relates to renewable energy infrastructure. Foresight currently manages more than 250 renewable generation assets globally, with a total generating capacity of 2.5GW.

Foresight manages over 150 solar plants and has more than 1.4GW of solar generation assets under management around the world.

Foresight has more than 800MW of wind generation assets across the UK, France, Spain, Germany and Sweden of which 665MW are operational.

Foresight manages over 40 bioenergy and waste projects processing some 1.75 million tonnes of waste every year, having mobilised more than £1 billion of capital investment into the sector.

In addition, Foresight manages 210MW of Reserve Power assets and three utility scale Battery Storage projects providing 46MW of Enhanced Frequency Response services to National Grid.

Foresight is headquartered in London with regional offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Leicester and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Madrid, Luxembourg and Seoul.

www.foresightgroup.eu

About Lightning Fibre

Lightning Fibre is a cutting-edge, community-minded Full Fibre network operator and broadband provider based in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

We are dedicated to bringing hyperfast and hyper reliable broadband to Eastbourne, Hastings and the rest of East Sussex. Providing 100% full fibre, 10Gbps capable broadband. We are putting Eastbourne & Hastings at the forefront of the UK broadband revolution and giving our community the connectivity support it deserves.