SPRUCE provided a c.£11 million senior debt facility to part finance the 40GWh Guardbridge Energy Centre project, being a biomass plant and heat distribution network developed by St. Andrews University at Guardbridge, Fife.

Financial close
Concession term


The project forms part of the University’s green energy strategy aimed at achieving its objective of becoming the first carbon neutral higher education institution in the United Kingdom. The project is now operational and is saving up to 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum, as well as delivering significant cost savings to the University over its life by reference to the “do nothing” scenario.

The remainder of the funding for the project was sourced from the Scottish Funding Council and the University’s own resources.

The project is providing a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Facilitating the injection of £21m of capital investment into the local area.
  • Supporting in excess of 225 Construction and supply chain-related jobs
  • Providing a variety of full time equivalent operational positions to manage the operational phase of the project.
  • The procurement of up to 17,000 tonnes per annum of locally sourced roundwood.
  • Remediating part of a disused brownfield site for the energy centre and wood processing facility, and acting as a catalyst for the regeneration of the wider site.

The project will also seek to provide community and wider socio-economic benefits to the local area through the “Guardbridge Guarantee”, whereby the University and its contractors will seek to provide apprenticeships, graduate employment and employment for the local community.

SDGs Supported

Construction jobs supported


Energy generated per annum