Investors can now back the UK’s first community municipal investment (CMI) through Abundance.
West Berkshire Council has launched a CMI through the crowd bonds platform.
It will allow the local authority to finance green infrastructure projects alongside retail investors.
The first projects to be funded will be installing rooftop solar panels on a building at Greenham Common, on local schools, and at the council’s office in Market Street, Newbury.
The local authority is looking to raise £1m and investors can earn 1.2 per cent per year over five years.
Almost a fifth of the target has been raised so far and the offer closes on 15 September.
“It is very exciting to be the first council to offer CMIs to our residents and community groups,” Ross Mackinnon, West Berkshire’s executive member for finance and economic development, said.
“They are an innovative way to put residents’ money to work to help us build back greener after the pandemic.”
Several other councils are in discussions about launching their own similar projects.
Bruce Davis, managing director of Abundance Investment, said CMIs are an innovative way to democratise finance.
“People want to mobilise their money to help their local council build back better and greener,” he said.
“West Berkshire are leading the way and we hope many other councils in the UK will follow.”