Jo Bamford, chairman of bus firm Wrightbus and grandson of JCB founder Joseph Bamford, is hoping to raise £1bn to invest in the hydrogen energy sector, with the launch of a new fund.
Bamford has launched HYCAP, a hydrogen investment fund, alongside Vedra Partners. The fund has already raised £200m after a first round and aims to inject the money into UK businesses to speed up hydrogen production.
Bamford, whose company manufactures hydrogen-powered buses, said the fund had already identified around 40 companies that could be suitable for investment.
He said: “With the government’s relentless pursuit of net zero targets and the publication of the damning IPCC report, it is our belief that hydrogen holds the key to reducing emissions – and there is a growing sense of urgency to act now.
“The UK has missed the boat on batteries, a sector dominated by China and the Far East, but we can be global leaders in the production and supply of hydrogen – an economy said to be worth $2.5 trillion in revenues by 2050.”
In its strategy on hydrogen energy, launched last month, the UK government pledged to have 5GW of low-carbon hydrogen production by 2030.
Vedra Partners’ founder Max Gottschalk said: “The fund will be investing across the entire value chain, focusing on production, manufacture and supply, in order to put the UK firmly on the map when it comes to hydrogen.
“By striking meaningful commercial partnerships and developing intelligent go-to-market strategies it is clear HYCAP’s maiden fund can add strategic, operational and financial value to the ecosystem while creating entrepreneurial growth businesses.”