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National Grid Is First Company to Make Major Commitment to Newly-Launched Buffalo Building Reuse Project

 National Grid Is First Company to Make Major Commitment to Newly-Launched Buffalo Building Reuse Project

Company to Provide Matching Grants for Economic Development Projects and Marketing Program

National Grid today became the first company in Western New York to commit direct support to the Buffalo Building Reuse Project, an initiative undertaken by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership at the request of Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown to improve the competitiveness of downtown Buffalo by attracting new investment and creating a development process and structure for long term sustainability. Buffalo Building Reuse Project is the result of a year-long study, and was announced in January 2012 alongside an $11.25 million commitment from the City over the next three years.

National Grid will offer matching assistance to the Buffalo Building Reuse Projectover a three-year period through a menu of successful economic development and energy efficiency programs the company makes available to communities and businesses in its upstate New York service areas. The total level of support by National Grid could augment the city's commitment by a third or more.

"When Mayor Brown announced this effort, he encouraged local companies to be good corporate citizens and invest in the future of Buffalo's economic development," said Ken Daly, National Grid's president in New York. "As a local company we support the Mayor's vision for the project, as it clearly aligns with our vision of promoting sustainable economic development and energy efficiency projects in the communities we serve."

"I applaud National Grid as the first private company in Buffalo to support this public sector effort to accelerate the pace of investment and development in downtown Buffalo," said Mayor Brown, noting that the City of Buffalo already committed $11.25 million to the Buffalo Building Reuse Project over the next three years. "This is a smart investment because as downtown Buffalo grows, National Grid's customer base will grow. I certainly hope other businesses follow National Grid's example and invest in the Buffalo Building Reuse Project."

National Grid is committed to investing up to $1.25 million per year for the next three years through its upstate New York economic development grant programs with potential of additional grant monies being awarded from its various energy efficiency programs. National Grid's economic development grant programs have a strong focus on site development, community revitalization, strategic marketing, and facilitating customer growth through infrastructure assistance, energy efficiency and productivity improvement. The programs also reflect an increasing emphasis on sustainable development, the efficient use of existing energy infrastructure, and the strategic deployment of renewable generation technologies.

In addition, National Grid will contribute up to $500,000 through its Strategic Economic Development and Cooperative Recruitment programs to support Buffalo Building Reuse Project marketing efforts of the City to out-of-state investors in strategically identified industry sectors.

Since 2003, National Grid has supported economic development and urban revitalization throughout Erie County through more than $15 million in grants.

"Partnership initiatives like Buffalo Building Reuse Project are clear examples of expertise@work - combining member volunteer and staff energy, expertise, and resources to grow jobs and investment in our region," said Andrew J. Rudnick, president and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. "National Grid continues to be at the forefront of this, as the initial private funder of the project's recommendations, and is doing so in a way that will encourage additional companies to step forward."

The direct economic impact of the building reuse initiative is forecasted to create 700 to1,500 new jobs and as much as $78 million of investment over the next five years. Also anticipated is the absorption of 425,000-800,000 square feet of office space, the creation of 500,000-1,000,000 square feet of residential space and the improvement of ten city blocks. The project will be responsible for redeveloping two million square feet of vacant and underutilized commercial space in Buffalo.

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership has been working the past six months to implement the principal recommendations of the study released in January and the framework of the project, which include:

Designating a lead entity for downtown Buffalo development - the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation - with increasing downtown specific resources (staff, loans, grants, etc.) to fulfill the recommendations and to ensure comprehensive implementation of the project;

Creating a dedicated funding stream and utilizing effective tools (improve existing, establish new) to encourage redevelopment investments through project loans, matching grants, and gap financing and to improve downtown public infrastructure and amenities; and

    Implementing a housing in-fill strategy to transition class 'B' and 'C' commercial properties into residential use as the initial focus.

For more information on BBRP, visit www.thepartnership.org/bbrp

ABOUT NATIONAL GRID

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it 'joins everything up'.

In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.

National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. It manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation, providing power to over one million LIPA customers. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.