Cotswold District Council launches new scheme for residents to invest in local projects to tackle the climate emergency

Cotswold District Council Press Release – 26 April 2022

Cotswold District Council has launched its Cotswold Climate Investment, Gloucestershire’s first Community Municipal Investment (CMI), meaning local people can now invest directly in a cleaner, greener, healthier future for all.

From today, local people will be able to invest from as little as £5 to support a range of Cotswold-based projects to help tackle the climate emergency.

Councillor Joe Harris, Leader of Cotswold District Council said, “I am delighted to announce the launch of the Cotswold Climate Investment as we progress our vision for a net zero Cotswold District through innovative projects that deliver real change.

“Working with Cotswold residents we aim to make the Cotswolds cleaner, greener and healthier. This is the first investment of this type to be issued by the Council and the first in the county of Gloucestershire.  Residents can put their money to work to make a real difference towards delivering the Council’s 2030 vision to cut emissions and create safer, cleaner streets across the District.

“Everyone in our community has the opportunity to get involved by investing from as little as £5 into this climate investment, which aims to raise £500,000 to support a range of Cotswolds based projects that will help tackle the climate emergency. Not only will people be contributing to these fantastic projects but it will also provide an option for local people to invest and make a return locally.”

The Cotswold Climate 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.

The Cotswold Climate Investment aims to raise £500,000 to support a range of projects, including installing publicly available off-street electric vehicle charging points (EVCPs) around the District to encourage electric vehicle take-up, and improving the energy and carbon performance of the Council’s Cirencester offices.

By March 2023 the first phase of the EVCP programme will install 10 charging points:

  • One at the Beeches car park in Cirencester
  • Four at the Council Offices in Cirencester
  • Four at the Rissington Road car park in Bourton on the Water
  • One at Old Market Way in Moreton in Marsh

Two of these charging points are already in place but will be replaced with the latest technology.

Actions to improve the energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions from the Council’s offices in Cirencester include:

  • Installing solar panels
  • Updating lights to LEDs to reduce energy consumption
  • Insulation to reduce heat loss
  • Alterations to the building to enable more efficient use of space and energy

Bruce Davis, Co-founder and Joint Managing Director of Abundance Investment, said:

“As a local resident, it is doubly pleasing to have the opportunity to invest alongside my own local community to fund projects which will help put the District on the path towards NetZero. We created these climate investments to allow ordinary people to access a lower risk way to make a green investment and Cotswold are blazing a trail we hope other local authorities in the South West will follow.”

In September last year, the council became one of the first in the UK to commit to issuing a climate bond, signing the Green Finance Institute’s Local Climate Bond Pledge.

Emma Harvey, Programme Director at the Green Finance Institute, said, “Local Climate Bonds have the ability to promote and strengthen the role of local governments in achieving national net zero ambitions, while giving access to cost-effective financing and improving engagement with the local community. Therefore, it is very exciting to see Cotswold District Council taking action on its pledge to issue a Local Climate Bond as part of the Green Finance Institute’s campaign with Abundance Investment.”

As with all investments your capital is at risk. Investments are long term and may not be readily realisable. This communication has been approved as a financial promotion by Abundance Investment, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (525432).

Cotswold District Council declared a climate emergency in July 2019, and since then has adopted its Climate Emergency Strategy, consulted with residents to create a Local Plan that is ‘Green to the Core’ and rolled out its nationally acclaimed Net Zero Carbon Toolkit, an easy to follow guide to help plan a net zero housing project and advice for homeowners looking to retrofit or extend their existing property.

To invest in the Cotswold Climate Investment or to find out more cotswold.gov.uk/CCI

Contact Information

Cotswold District Council Communications Team

press@cotswold.gov.uk

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).