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Climate Change Bond investment hits half a million

The UK’s first Community Municipal Investment (CMI) launched by West Berkshire Council has already reached more than 50% of its maximum raise target having attracted over £537,000 of investment from nearly 400 investors since it went live on 14 July 2020.

The CMI offers West Berkshire’s residents and community groups a unique way to invest directly in a greener future for the district. The funds raised will help finance a series of solar power generation projects, increasing biodiversity by enabling more wildflower verges, and further activities supporting the District’s move towards achieving carbon neutral status.

A CMI is an innovative bond or loan mechanism issued by a Council directly to the public. It will be provided in partnership with the ethical online crowdfunding platform Abundance Investment, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

West Berkshire will use its CMI to finance green projects in the district, such as installing solar panels at a building on Greenham Common and five other buildings, including two local schools. It is hoped that CMIs can be used as an alternative source of financing for the council for a range of different green and social infrastructure projects in the future.

This is the first CMI to launch in the UK and aims to raise £1 million in total to finance more green projects as part of its new Environment Strategy.

Ross Mackinnon, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Finance said: “We’re absolutely delighted by the response to the CMI. We know that the environment is extremely important to our residents and clearly, they are confirming that by helping us to invest in a greener future.

“There’s still plenty of time for local people to get involved and invest. It only takes a few seconds to sign up to the bond, and investors will receive a financial return while being integral to driving us towards carbon neutrality by 2030.”

Steve Ardagh-Walter, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for the Environment said:  “I’m delighted that so many people have already invested in the Bond. Local community investment will reduce the overall cost of borrowing for environmental projects, as well as helping us reach the District’s target of carbon neutrality by 2030.   This is something that everybody will benefit from, so I hope that even more residents will choose to make a difference through investing in the CMI.”

Bruce Davis, co-founder and Managing Director, Abundance Investment said:  “This is an impressive response and reaching over 50% of the target investment is very exciting for us and investors alike. Local residents who have backed the project have, on average, each invested just under £2,000. However, people can invest as little as £5 to make a difference.”

More information about the offer at https://www.abundanceinvestment.com/invest-now/west-berkshire-2025.

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