The Community Shares Fund has helped a community in the Scottish Highlands to kick-start their share issue. The ambitious project aims to fund the build of a hydro-electric scheme, which will harness the untapped power source of the river Allt nan Cailleach in Anaheilt, near Strontian.
Sunart Community Renewables aims to raise £850,000 in total, from a combination of shares and loans. An investment from The Co-operative Community Shares Fund has offered valuable support for the project in its early stages; inspiring confidence from investors and ensuring that an order for the turbine can be made.
The community plans to install a 100KW Pelton turbine on the river, which runs right through the middle of the village. All of the electricity generated - around 425,000 KWh per year - will be sold to the national grid, and surpluses will be donated to a local community benefit fund. It should provide a regular long term income for the community, which will enable them to invest in further local development.
The group’s project manager Dale Meegan said: “We’re very pleased with the way fund-raising is going and we now know we will be able to go ahead with the scheme.”
Shares, ranging from a minimum of £300 to a maximum of £100,000, are available to anyone aged 16 or over. Each shareholder has one vote regardless of how much they invest.
HOW WE HELPED:
- We conducted a due diligence assessment of the proposal
- We invested £50,000 at the start of the community share issue
- Our early investment gave others the confidence to buy shares
- Reaching an early target allowed the group to purchase the turbine and commence work on the project
Community Shares Fund investment manager, Ian Rothwell, said: “We are delighted to assist the Sunart community at this crucial early stage of their share issue – the turbine should provide a long term renewable energy source for the village, and a sustainable income stream which they can direct towards more community investment.”
For more information please visit Sunart website here