Win-win for climate and community as council launches new crowd-funding opportunity

Telford & Wrekin Council has launched the West Midlands’ first Community Municipal Investment (CMI) today, meaning local people can now invest directly in a greener, more sustainable future for all.

An innovative crowd-funding model, the first Telford & Wrekin Climate Action Investment lets local residents and businesses support the council’s plans to create a carbon neutral borough. The council is already taking action on its own environmental impact – it has cut its carbon footprint by 58% since 2018, putting it on track to hit its commitment to make its operations carbon neutral by 2030.

But the council’s plans go far beyond that.

Councillor Carolyn Healy, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Green Spaces, Natural and Historic Environment and Cultural Services, said:

“We want to ensure we support everyone across the borough to take action against climate change, and this investment opportunity gives you the chance to back a number of important local climate projects.

“Everyone has the chance to get involved by investing from as little as £5 into this Climate Action Investment, which aims to raise £500,000 to support a range of projects across Telford and Wrekin that will help us tackle the climate emergency.

“We recognise that people are feeling the pressure of the rising cost of living and that is why those who wish to support this cause can invest from as little as £5. It’s also why we will use £170k of the money raised to improve energy efficiency in our temporary accommodation which houses homeless people, providing affordable warmth for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

“We also plan to use a proportion of the money raised to help community groups and small businesses to operate more sustainably via a second round of our Climate Change Fund. Last year’s first round is already helping dozens of local organisations to reduce their carbon footprint.

“These projects are having a real, immediate impact. For example, we estimate that grant-funded lighting replacements at Admaston House Community Centre in Shawbirch will save about 2.3 tonnes of carbon per annum. And this is just one of the many grant-funded projects!

“Our new Climate Action Investment initiative gives everyone the chance to contribute to more of this great work.

“The investment scheme is your opportunity to put your money to work to make a real difference, helping to delivering the council’s vision to make Telford and Wrekin a carbon neutral borough by 2030.”

The Telford & Wrekin Climate Action Investment is being launched in partnership with Abundance Investment, the UK’s first and biggest regulated green investment platform. The minimum investment is just £5, and this investment* lets investors earn 2.1% interest per year fixed, before tax, with interest and capital repayments every 6 months across the investment term. It will also be eligible to be held in an Innovative Finance ISA, which means that people will be able to get tax free investment returns.

Bruce Davis, Joint Managing Director of Abundance said:

"This investment from Telford and Wrekin will make a real difference to the local council's efforts to take action on the climate emergency with the money from residents and green investors going directly to benefit local projects and businesses driving the transition to Net Zero."

The scheme aims to raise £500k which will be used to:

  • Fund dozens of local community groups and small businesses to reduce their carbon footprint through a new round of the council’s hugely popular Climate Change Fund, delivering projects from solar panels and energy efficient LED lighting replacement to bike sheds and EV charging points
  • Pay for energy efficiency improvements to the council’s temporary accommodation, meaning affordable warmth for some of the most vulnerable members of the community
  • Buy two electric vehicles for the council’s Outdoor Education team, meaning school trips to everyone’s favourite place - Arthog - become sustainable!

Emma Harvey, Programme Director at the Green Finance Institute, said:

“Local Climate Bonds are a proven Community Municipal Investment solution that enables residents and community groups to have a meaningful role in their Borough’s ambitious Net Zero plans. The new scheme launched today by Telford & Wrekin is an example of its active commitment to promoting innovative financial schemes to address the climate emergency, in accordance with the GFI and Abundance Investment’s Local Climate Bond Campaign.”

Considering investing in the scheme? To find out more about how you can be part of a greener future for Telford and Wrekin, please visit www.abundanceinvestment.com/telford-wrekin


Notes to Editors    

About Abundance Investment    

Abundance is a leading direct investment platform that is putting people in control of their money. People invest in individual projects that generate something good for the environment and society as well as bank-beating returns.     

The investor chooses which project or business to invest in from just £5 and benefits from a financial return, while the world benefits from the growth of sustainable businesses.   

Since launching in 2012, more than 7,600 people have invested over £127m directly into the projects they support via the Abundance platform, with over £39m returned to investors. In the process, Abundance has achieved a number of firsts. As well as being the world’s first FCA-regulated investment based crowdfunding company, it is also the first investment platform to offer a dedicated investment based crowdfunding SIPP and launched the UK’s first Innovative Finance ISA for renewable energy investments on November 1st 2016.     

In 2020, Abundance launched the first Community Municipal Investments after working with the University of Leeds to develop new ways to allow local people to actively participate in the transition to Net Zero. These investments let people invest directly into councils, allowing them to fund the real local green projects that we need to make a big impact on the climate emergency. Abundance’s new municipal investments, launched after September 2021, are structured as peer to peer loans and are eligible to be held in an Innovative Finance ISA. Abundance’s first two municipal investments, launched in 2020 with West Berkshire and Warrington Councils, were not ISA eligible.   

Abundance also became a certified B Corp 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 www.abundanceinvestment.com    

Follow @AbundanceInv    

*Risk Warning:

As with any investment, there are risks when investing on Abundance. Your invested capital is at risk and any return on your investment depends on the ability of the local authority you have invested in to pay your returns. Investments on Abundance are generally long term and you should be prepared to hold them to maturity. The investments are illiquid and you may not be able to sell them if you need your money back earlier, and their value can rise or fall. Quoted returns are no guarantee of future returns and past performance is not a guide to future performance. Specific risks will apply in relation to each investment. Please consider all risks before investing and read the Offer Document or Factsheet for each investment. The investments on Abundance include debentures or bonds (from companies) and peer-to-peer loans (from councils) - Abundance’s service in relation to peer-to-peer loans is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).   


Photo features Cllr Carolyn Healy with Barry Tillotson (Chair) and Roland West from Admaston House Community Centre in Shawbirch, whose council-funded Climate Change grant has enabled energy efficiencies which will save approximately 2.3 tonnes of carbon emissions per year – a volume that would fill a balloon with a diameter of more than 13 metres!




 

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