William Eichler 19 November 2020

Council raises £1m for solar panels through ‘community investment’

Warrington Borough Council’s first Community Municipal Investment (CMI) has reached its £1m target thanks to investments from over 500 people across the UK.

The CMI structure was developed by ethical investment platform Abundance Investment to offer an accessible, low-risk way for people to back councils in the fight against climate change.

According to Warrington BC, 523 people invested an average of £1,912 each in the CMI, which will help fund a multi-million pound solar and battery storage project near Cirencester.

The electricity and revenues generated by the solar panels will be used to accelerate other green projects as part of the council’s Green Energy Strategy. These include reducing fuel poverty and energy self-sufficiency.

‘I’m absolutely delighted that our first ever Community Municipal Investment has been such a success, generating a huge amount of interest and attracting hundreds of investors from Warrington and across the country,’ said Cllr Bowden, leader of Warrington BC.

‘Reaching our £1m investment target is a fantastic achievement, particularly in such challenging times. It shows that tackling the climate emergency is something that people really care about.’

Bruce Davis, co-founder and managing director, Abundance Investment, commented: ‘Warrington was particularly hard hit by COVID during this investment offer, so the success of its green bond is a testament to the town’s green vision which has inspired investors across the UK.

‘This is clear proof that ordinary people want the recovery from the pandemic to be led by the green economy, and they are prepared to put their money where their mouth is.’

Warrington’s announcement follows news that West Berkshire District Council raised £1m through the UK’s first ever CMI which closed last month.

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