Blaenau Gwent Launches Community Bond

Executive today agreed to launch an innovative new investment scheme to fund low carbon energy and infrastructure projects. The scheme will initially focus on raising money to invest in energy and heat projects for local residents and businesses.

A Community Municipal Investment (CMI) is a relatively low risk bond or loan instrument issued by a Local Authority directly to the public via an internet based crowdfunding platform.

The bonds are issued to residents and investors from Blaenau Gwent who would eventually receive a percentage return on their investment starting from as little as £5.

The benefits of this CMI bonds are:
• Opportunity for the public to invest in low carbon measures.
• Job creation in low carbon industries.
• Access to low carbon energy for businesses and communities.
• Help support the delivery of low carbon and reduce the carbon footprint for the area as highlighted in the Blaenau Gwent Decarbonisation Plan.
• Has the potential to assist the Council realise its ambition to be a carbon neutral organisation by 2030.

Councillor David Davies, Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development added:
“I am excited that by developing this type of investment it shows our ambition as an innovative Council as we aim to deliver quality services that matter to our communities. It will also protect and enhance our environment and infrastructure, whilst benefitting our communities through the development of low carbon local energy.”

There are many low carbon infrastructure developments that the funding could help, some of which are listed in the Energy Prospectus of 2019, such as hydro generation, solar and wind energy. The EU funded project called SocialRES will seek to bring together a range of partners which include developers, community stakeholders and the Council to create a community investment bond in-line with local requirements, whilst also meeting the low carbon aspirations for Blaenau Gwent.