UK Export Finance appoints renewables specialist for north England


Based locally, Rachel Ashley will work directly with energy companies in the North of England to support them in securing finance for export contracts and connecting them to overseas renewable and clean tech projects through UK Export Finance’s (UKEF’s) growing network of international trade experts.

The North plays an important role in energy innovation in the UK, with the development of electric vehicles by Nissan in Sunderland, the H21 City Gate Project in Leeds, the Smart Grids Centre based in Newcastle and the Siemens offshore wind turbine factory in Hull.

Gordon Welsh, Head of UKEF’s Business Group said:

The UK’s energy sector is a significant source of skilled jobs and UKEF is committed to helping companies make the transition to renewable energy and to sustain clean growth. Rachel has a keen understanding of the financing challenges faced by the energy sector and I look forward to her supporting UKEF’s work in this sector.

Rachel Ashley, UKEF Export Finance Manager, said:

The North has a global reputation for innovation and excellence in the energy sector dating back to the Industrial Revolution. It is now fitting that it is at the forefront of a green energy revolution. Home to the world’s largest Offshore Wind Farm and with easy access to a growing pipeline of North Sea renewable energy opportunities, the North is ideally positioned to meet the growing demand for renewable energy overseas. I want to help Northern companies tap into that potential and continue to strengthen their position on the world stage.

Renewables account for around a third of global energy capacity and businesses based in the North West, East and Yorkshire & The Humber regions have the expertise needed to play a leading role in supplying overseas markets as they transition to clean energy.

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Rachel will be dedicated to helping these companies fulfil this potential by identifying opportunities for clean growth exports that boost the renewable supply chains in the North of England. She will join Alistair McMillan, who has taken up the same role to support businesses in Scotland, and becomes part of UKEF’s regional network of Export Finance Managers, specialists based in all four nations of the UK, who provide tailored export finance guidance to UK businesses.

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Rachel has worked with a range of organisations including both start-ups and large corporates, with particular experience in R&D and innovation in the energy sector. Rachel’s breadth of knowledge and experience means she is ideally placed to help businesses in the North of England win, fulfil and get paid for export contracts in the renewable energy sector.

This appointment follows the allocation of £2 billion of direct lending to green projects in the latest budget. This additional finance will support clean growth projects as global economies shift away from fossil fuels to renewable and low carbon solutions.

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UKEF is the UK’s export credit agency and a government department, working alongside the Department for International Trade as an integral part of its strategy and operations.

It exists to ensure that no viable UK export should fail for want of finance or insurance from the private market. It provides finance and insurance to help exporters win, fulfil and ensure they get paid for export contracts.

UKEF supports exporters with a range of products that include:

  • Bond insurance policy
  • Bond support scheme
  • Buyer and supplier credit financing facilities
  • Direct lending facility
  • Export insurance policy
  • Export refinancing facility
  • Export working capital scheme
  • Letter of credit guarantee scheme

Find the latest information on UKEF’s country cover positions.

Also, learn more about how UKEF could help your business.


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