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Warrington Council eyes community bond scheme

Warrington Borough Council has revealed plans to give the public the opportunity to invest with the local authority to develop a new solar farm.

Councillors are due to meet next week (27 May) to discuss the idea of issuing a community municipal bond to help deliver the project.

If the plans are approved, the bond would be issued by a local authority directly to the public via an internet-based crowdfunding platform.

The bond would be issued to residents and investors from across the country to receive a percentage return on their capital for the investment.

By investing as little as £5, investors will be able to support an important project for Warrington’s future and receive a long-term return.

It is expected to be launched in the coming weeks, as lockdown restrictions are eased.

The scheme would be administered by Abundance, who are a separate FCA registered company, on behalf of the council.

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.

Abundance has already carried out consultation with Warrington residents who were all very supportive of the bond issue, which allows local and UK residents to invest in positive, green investments that are secure and low risk, paying a competitive rate of interest.

‘We have recently seen much emphasis being put on the need for climate-friendly stimulus policies to reboot economies in the wake of the coronavirus crisis,’ said council leader, Cllr Russ Bowden.

‘In Warrington, we remain committed to delivering a carbon neutral future, while doing all we can to protect our vital services now and in the future.

‘The proposed community municipal bond scheme would allow people to invest directly with us to help build a greener and more prosperous future for the borough. As such, it would give residents and community groups a fantastic opportunity to make a sound, social investment, while supporting our work to address the climate change emergency we all face.’

Photo Credit – PublicDomainPictures (Pixabay)

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