Generating renewable energy in deprived areas
Big Society Capital has committed to invest £750,000 (alongside £500,000 from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation) in the Community Generation Fund, managed by the FSE Group.
The FSE Group is an independent Community Interest Company established in 2002. Its purpose is to deliver growth funding and support to SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and enterprises that deliver social and/or environmental impact. The FSE Group delivers all regulated activities through FSE Fund Managers Ltd, a 100% owned subsidiary which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Service Authority.
The Community Generation Fund will lend money to support disadvantaged communities to reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint and to generate an income for the community through the development of community-owned renewable energy projects. Projects such as wind-turbines and small hydro-electric generators will produce energy for local communities, who will be able to sell any surplus back to the national grid and use the income from this to support other community projects such as fuel poverty mitigation, community centres and youth projects in disadvantaged areas.
It can be difficult to raise finance to get these projects off the ground, especially in deprived or disadvantaged communities. The Fund will provide the critical funding for the pre-planning stage of projects alongside long-term funding for the construction phase. The Community Generation Fund will work with the National Energy Foundation to provide advice and guidance alongside financial support for projects, alongside the financial support.
The Community Generation Fund will initially aim to support up to 11 communities to build their own community renewable projects. The aim is to develop a track record to attract other investors to create an eventual £15m fund which will have the potential over time to support over 130 communities to develop their own community-owned renewable energy projects.
Health, healthy living and lifestyle
- Increase in number of people feeling active and able
- Increased access to affordable and accessible health, sport and fitness facilities
Personal and social well-being
- Fewer people feeling isolated, excluded or lonely
- More people have aspiration, motivation, purpose, sense of meaning
- Improved community cohesion and community relations, neighbourliness
- Increased access to social infrastructure for social networking
Local area and getting around
- Improved access to and use of local facilities
- Increase in community assets, community facilities and centres
- Increase in quality public spaces, parks, recreation grounds
- Increased community cohesion
Arts, culture and recreation
- Increased accessibility of arts and cultural facilities
- Increased accessibility of sports facilities
- Increased participation in arts, culture and sports
- Community owned facilities
- Local culture and heritage
- Community, Sector and Society