Congleton Hydroelectric project raises £706,000 through Community Shares Offer
Congleton Community Hydro Project has raised a staggering £706,000 through community shares to cover the cost of building a hydroelectric scheme at Havannah Weir. The money has been matched with a further £50,000 thanks to Power to Change’s Community Shares Booster Programme.
Community shares allow people to buy a stake in a business in an affordable and inclusive way. Between 2009 and 2018, over 150,000 people have invested over £150m to support over 500 community businesses throughout the UK. They have helped to develop shops and pubs, renewable energy schemes, football clubs, heritage buildings and many more.
The £3m Community Shares Booster Programme, run by the Community Shares Unit and funded by Power to Change, provides development grants to help organisations get ready to launch community shares offers, as well as larger equity investments to match community shares investments from the community.
Paul Guymer, from the Congleton Hydro Project said: “We’re so grateful to the people of Congleton and all our investors for their support in helping us to raise this money. All are all looking forward with great enthusiasm to the implementation phase. The project will help provide relief of future climate change, annual contributions to fund local community projects and an educational resource to increase environmental and sustainability awareness!”
John Dawson, Head of Social Investment Programmes at Power to Change, said: “We believe that community businesses can change lives and transform places for the better. Not only will this investment support Congleton Hydro’s work, it will also help them to increase their trading income and become more financially sustainable. A huge congratulations to Congleton Hydro for successfully raising £706,000. We’re delighted to be able to support their efforts.”
Alice Wharton, Programme Manager at the Community Shares Unit, said: “The Booster Programme is a great opportunity for groups to develop an idea that can innovatively use community shares as a funding mechanism to develop, grow and sustain community businesses.”
Dane Valley Community Energy Ltd (DVCE) is a not for profit community benefit society formed and driven forward by a group of professional, knowledgeable and environmentally conscious volunteers. DVCE has established a working relationship with, and project backing from various industrial partners as well as Eaton Bank Academy. DVCE is registered as a Community Benefit Society with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) (Registration Number 7142). This legal structure is regulated by the FCA and governed by rules, which can be viewed at www.congletonhydro.co.uk.