This investment has now been redeemed and is no longer part of Big Society Capital's active portfolio.
Many communities in the UK face persistent and entrenched social issues. Especially now, while facing a decline in public spending, these issues have been exacerbated, leading to a decline in community cohesion and engagement, weakened socio-economic outcomes, as well as a general lack of empowerment to affect change.
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.
For each investment, the fund will identify and report on the details of the intervention, the outcomes for communities, as well as the long-term benefits of both the development and construction phases. The fund is now closed for new applicants.
The purpose of the fund is to deliver growth funding and support to 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. The fund provides the critical funding for the planning and pre-planning phase, as well as long-term funding for the construction phase of projects.
The fund will tap into the growing interest in community-led infrastructure projects. Specifically, it helps address a critical bottleneck in community asset financing, namely the availability of feasibility and pre-planning finance, as well as capital loans for smaller scale projects not covered by mainstream finance. The fund is managed by FSE, which is an experienced SME investor expanding its social investment activities.