The UK’s first ever local government green bond for West Berkshire Council has closed, having reached its target of £1mn five days early.
On 14 October, the council said that 22% of the funds raised had come from West Berkshire residents who invested an average of £3,500. West Berkshire declared a Climate Emergency last year and is looking to make the district net zero by 2030. The green bond is one of the first deliverables of this strategy, with the district already seeing the benefits with solar panels installed on five buildings, including schools, leisure and care facilities, as well as the council’s own offices.
The Community Municipal Investment (CMI) attracted 640 investors in total, having sought to offer an accessible, low-risk way for local people to support green infrastructure in their area by investing directly with their council. Money raised will also go towards funding projects with the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust to protect and enhance the natural environment, updating traffic signals to LED and cycleways to promote sustainable transport.