Green community investment plans approved

Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet has approved plans for a new green project, giving the public the opportunity to invest with the council to develop a solar farm.

The Cabinet has given the go ahead to a new Community Municipal Bond (CMB), allowing people to invest as little as £5 to support an important project for Warrington’s future and receive a long term, low risk return.

The plans for the solar farm, in Cirencester, have been in development since 2018, as part of the council’s ongoing work to deliver its Green Energy Strategy and meet the aims of its climate emergency declaration.

The CMB is a bond issued by a local authority directly to the public via an internet-based crowdfunding platform. It will be administered by Abundance, who are a separate FCA registered company, on behalf of the council.

The plans form part of a nationwide pilot exploring using CMBs to fund infrastructure for local authorities, and would see the council issuing a CMB to fund up to £10m of the Cirencester project. The bond would be issued to residents and investors from across the country to receive a percentage return on their capital for the investment.

Warrington Borough Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “As a council, we want to inspire, drive and support our communities to address the challenges of the climate emergency, working in partnership to achieve real change. The Community Municipal Bond will support this work.

“It will give the public the opportunity to make a sound, social investment, while playing their part in protecting vital services and helping create a cleaner, greener future for our borough.”

Bruce Davis, co-founder and Managing Director, Abundance, said: "We are very pleased that Warrington's cabinet has approved plans for the town's first Community Municipal Bond, allowing its residents to play an important role in helping fulfil its Green Energy Strategy with another innovative solar farm investment.

“Mobilising our money in this way is the most effective way to kick start the UK's recovery from the impact of Covid-19 and ensure it is both green and fair."

Abundance is an FCA regulated investment platform founded in 2012 with a mission to help turn members of the public into real stakeholders in things they care about, and allowing anybody to invest as little as £5.

While the bonds would be targeted at people living within the Warrington region, they would also be available to people living across the UK. CMBs are built to prioritise individual investment but are compatible with the requirements of institutional investors such as pension funds.

Further details on the launch of the scheme will be provided in the coming weeks.

For more information on the Community Municipal investment, and to sign up to receive email updates, please visit abundanceinvestment.com/warrington

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