Warrington Borough Council is about to launch a green investment scheme, giving people the opportunity to invest directly in the Council to help fund a new solar farm.

The Council will open its first Community Municipal Investment (CMI) on 25 August, which seeks to raise up to £1 million to help fund the development of a new solar farm in Cirencester.

These solar farm plans 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 CMI is giving the public the chance to be part of the project.

The power generated from the solar farm will be used to meet the council’s energy needs, with any surplus energy generated sold. In this way, it will support the council’s aims of:

•  tackling the climate emergency and becoming carbon neutral by 2030

• generating an income for the council to help protect essential services

• engendering collaborative working with residents on the green agenda

A CMI is a bond issued by a local authority directly to the public via an internet-based crowdfunding platform. By investing as little as £5, investors will be able to support an important project for Warrington’s future and receive a long term, low risk return. The bond will be issued to local residents and investors from across the country to receive a percentage return on their capital for the investment.

The scheme is being administered by Abundance, who are a separate FCA registered company, on behalf of the Council.

Warrington Borough Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “The Community Municipal Investment is a really innovative way of engaging people in the work we are doing. It’s about engendering partnership working, building trust with communities and empowering them to play a part in creating a greener and more prosperous future.”

Abundance Investment joint Managing Director, Bruce Davis, said: “Warrington is already showing other councils the way with a really innovative climate change strategy. Abundance is excited to be working with them to launch their first community municipal investment which will allow local people to invest from as little as £5 and put their money to work for them and to help achieve Warrington’s green ambitions.”

Warrington’s Green Energy Strategy, published last year, covers a large part of the work required to meet these pledges, setting out our ambitions to:

  • Reduce fuel poverty in Warrington
  •  Reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our borough
  • Achieve security of energy supply, largely by owning and controlling the generating assets to achieve energy self-sufficiency
  • Promote economic regeneration, including creating jobs and growth
  • Make Warrington a centre of excellence in the green agenda
  • Deliver a more sustainable Warrington

The Council has been proactive in pursuing a number of initiatives in the energy sector in recent years. including the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) on 3,000 Golden Gates properties, delivering large scale solar roof schemes on the OMEGA development site, developing investments in solar bonds that other councils have invested in, and acquiring solar farms in York and Hull.

About Abundance

•  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.

• In 2016, Abundance launched the first Local Authority Green ISA bond with Swindon Borough Council, which funded two 5 Mw solar parks with the participation of more than 1,600 investors.

• Since launching in 2012, more than 6,000 people have invested over £100m directly into the projects they support via the Abundance platform, with over £25m returned to investors. In the process, Abundance has achieved a number of firsts. As well as being the world’s first FCA-regulated peer-to-peer investment company, it is also the first investment platform to offer a dedicated peer-to-peer investment SIPP and launched the UK’s first innovative finance ISA for renewable energy investments on November 1st 2016.

• Abundance also became a certified B Corps in 2018; these are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

• Abundance and Abundance Investment are trading names of Abundance Investment Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (no. 525432).

• Visit abundanceinvestment.com; follow @AbundanceInv

Risk Warning: As with any investment product there are risks. Part or all of your original invested capital may be at risk and any return on your investment depends on the success of the project invested in. You should be prepared to hold Abundance investments for their full term (and many will have terms of more than 15 years). Abundance investments may not be readily realisable (and their value can rise or fall). They may be secured or unsecured, and where they are secured this does not ensure repayment. Estimated rates of return can be variable and estimates are no guarantee of actual return. Specific risks will apply in relation to each product. Consider all risks before investing and read the Offer Document for each investment.