A PURE investment for Big Society Capital
Deprived communities to receive £7 million boost from renewable energy projects.
Social investment bank Big Society Capital (BSC) is providing a £1 million revolving credit facility to support renewable energy projects through carbon reduction charity, PURE the Clean Planet Trust. The funds will feed into the PURE Community Energy Fund which helps finance small-scale, community renewables schemes by providing low interest loans.
As well as reducing carbon emissions, the projects offer communities a continual income stream from energy savings and via the feed-in tariff and renewable heat incentive. The BSC funding, alongside donations received via Barclaycard’s green credit card ‘Breathe’ and British Airways’ One Destination Carbon Fund, will enable up to 70 projects to be completed within the next two years. These projects could generate a potential £7 million for local communities.
“Funding from Big Society Capital will allow PURE to support five times as many projects as originally planned,” said Robert Rabinowitz, company secretary of PURE. “All of the projects to be supported with BSC funds will be located in areas which register low scores in the government's Index of Multiple Deprivation.”
One of the first PURE Community Energy Fund projects was the installation of solar photovoltaic panels on the Osprey Leisure Centre in Portland, Dorset. The panels will save the Osprey Centre, a former naval building taken over by South Dorset Community Sports Trust to provide recreation and sports facilities for local people, over £100,000 on its utilities bill which currently makes up 20 percent of operating costs.
In its next round of funding, PURE will issue £150,000 of low interest loans to five more sustainable initiatives across the UK, including community-owned swimming pools and community centres. The loans will finance the installation of solar panels to generate renewable heat and power. Over their lifetime, these five initial projects will save over 1,200 tonnes of carbon emissions and, after servicing the loans, will generate over £500,000 for good causes in the local community.