GREEN energy tycoon Dale Vince may buy cash-strapped Forest Green.

Vince, 48, is Britain’s wealthiest green entrepreneur and in 2009 was ranked the 657th richest man in the UK.

He has built an £85m fortune on wind power with his Stroud-based green energy company Ecotricity.

The Gazette understands Vince met with Forest Green’s top brass, including chairman David Drew, operations director Colin Peake and manager Dave Hockaday, at the New Lawn on Monday to discuss a possible takeover.

The Gazette revealed an advert in the Financial Times in May, in which an unnamed club, understood to be Forest Green, was described as "more than just a successful club with a prestigious history".

The club had set a target of raising £250,000 through a share issue by the end of June after the extent of its financial problems became public. Money raised so far has enabled it to pay tax bills.

Officials have previously talked about the club being bought in an outright sale as an ideal solution to its problems.

This is now being managed by London-based corporate advisors Devonshire Corporate Finance.

Vince has been a regular spectator at Forest Green during pre-season and was at the New Lawn for Forest Green’s 1-1 draw against Exeter on Tuesday night.

Born in Great Yarmouth, Vince got a taste for the alternative way of life at music festivals and, at 19, turned to new-age travelling.

Ten years later he had a small wind turbine to charge batteries and even run a computer.

He built a 30-metre mast for a turbine near his Stroud base but was rebuffed by electricity companies until, after years of planning appeals, they finally connected a turbine to the national grid for £20,000.

Dutch ethical bank Triodos agreed to lend him the money after he failed to interest the high-street giants and a small German company, Enercon, supplied the first turbine in 1996. And so the world's first green electricity company, Ecotricity, was born. In 2007 alone, it invested £25m in wind energy. In 2007-08 it made a £1.9m profit on £28m sales.

Vince received an OBE in 2004 for services to the environment and to the electricity industry. * Forest Green have clinched a two-year shirt sponsorship deal with the Coventry Building Society.

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