The £12.5bn (€14.2bn) Local Pensions Partnership (LPP) has launched a global infrastructure fund.

It combines the assets of the Lancashire County Pension Fund and the London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA), the two local government funds that established the partnership in 2015.

The new fund has £688m invested, including existing assets owned by the two pension funds. It is expected to raise more than £1.5bn by its final close, scheduled for September 2017, LPP said in a statement.

Susan Martin, LPP’s chief executive, said: “Infrastructure is a core investment focus for LPP. This new fund capitalises on our extensive knowledge and experience in what is a highly illiquid asset class.

“In pooling the infrastructure allocations of our shareholder pension schemes, the fund will also be an attractive vehicle for other investors looking to build their exposure to cost-efficient, diversified infrastructure assets.”

LPFA has a separate infrastructure collaboration with the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, focusing on UK assets.

LPP said its fund would focus on assets based in the UK, Europe, and North America, via infrastructure funds, co-investments, and direct investments.

LPP launched its first joint fund in November, pooling its two member funds’ global equity allocations. It followed this with a private equity pooled fund in April. It plans to launch credit, fixed income, and total return funds “in the coming months”, the statement said. 

The partnership preceded the UK government’s 2015 push for collaboration between the country’s 89 local authority funds. The pools must be ready to accept assets from their member funds from April 2018.