A group of banks and credit unions are leveraging federal stimulus money to create a nearly $8 million fund to provide energy-efficient retrofitting to historic buildings in Lowell, Mass.

The funds are made up of $5 million in federal stimulus grants and almost $3 million pledged by the local lenders. The news was announced Monday.

Participating banks include Eastern Bank, Enterprise Bank, Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank, Washington Savings Bank, People's United Bank, Toronto-Dominion Bank's TD Bank and Lowell Cooperative Bank.

Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union and NMTW Community Credit Union are also participating.

"The fact that we combine energy efficiency with historic preservation makes this a unique project," said Lowell's city manager, Bernie Lynch.

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