Congleton Hydro raised over £702,000.
A massive thank you to our investors who have made Congleton Hydro a reality, it was great to see so much local interest and support for the project. The ambitious target was achieved after a 3 month campaign, despite coinciding with a global pandemic!
Shareenergy is helping to grow the community energy sector in the UK. Congleton Hydro’s share offer was organised by Sharenergy, which is the leading social enterprise in the UK for establishing community-owned renewable energy schemes, they help with business planning, society setup, the initial and ongoing administration of the share scheme, promotion of the share offer and lobbying on behalf of the community energy sector.
Community Energy in the UK currently contributes 265MW of renewable electricity generation and 13.1MW renewable heat to the energy system. Now is a crucial time for the UK to recognise the huge potential for community energy to contribute to the energy system and support the sector to reach mass scale. Find out more about the 2030 vision at Community Energy England.
The campaign launched on 1st February 2020 and ended on the 17th of April, the video illustrates how the money flowed in during the campaign.
The Fundraising Campaign.
At the start of the campaign, the target was to raise £730,000 to complete the build and initial operation. The original closing date was 31st March 2020.
The main aim of the campaign was to raises awareness of the project in the local and wider community to attract investors, open to individuals and businesses.
The campaign was coordinated by a local Congleton business Cat’Social Media, both online and offline marketing channels were used:
- Facebook, Twitter and Linked In profiles were set up.
- Community groups on Facebook & Linked In identified and targeted.
- Local media covered the project, thanks to Congleton Chronicle, Signal Radio, So Cheshire and Congleton Nub News.
- Drop-in sessions were held at the Old Saw Mill and Tesco, the team also manned stalls at the Congleton Makers Market. Big thanks to Cong-Bear and Fiona Bruce (MP) who paid us a visit!
- Small advertising campaign using Facebook ads helped to get the project out to a wider audience.
- Leaflets were hand-delivered and strategically placed banners were put around the town.
- A global pandemic couldn’t even stop the team, as they had to pivot from in-person events to webinars! Due to the disruption from COVID-19, we extended the share raise by 2 weeks until the 17th of April.
The critical figure to achieve was £650,000 as this was the amount needed to build the project, with a plan to issue another share raise later on in the year. This, however, wasn’t needed as we surpassed 700k through the share raise, coupled with the grants detailed below we had achieved enough to build the project in its entirety.
Share Boosters and Grants
An Investment by the Power to Change’s Community Share Matching Booster Scheme to the sum of £57,000 ensured that the total investment exceeded the target of £730,000 which was needed to fully fund the scheme.
The £3m Community Shares Booster Programme, run by the Community Shares Unit and funded by Power to Change, provides development grants to help organisations get ready to launch community shares offers, as well as larger equity investments to match community shares investments from the community. Alice Wharton, Programme Manager at the Community Shares Unit, said: “The Booster Programme is a great opportunity for groups to develop an idea that can innovatively use community shares as a funding mechanism to develop, grow and sustain community businesses.”
In addition, we have received grants of £10,000 from the Cheshire East Bright Ideas Fund to enhance the boardwalk’s suitability for delivering the Education Programme and a grant of £73,000 from the Regional Communities Energy Fund to further enhance the Education programme and reduce the tree and vegetation ingress of the Grade II Listed Weir Structure. Both are essentially separate to the main project but contribute to the overall aims.
Learn more about Power to Change
“We’re so grateful to the people of Congleton and all our investors for their support in helping us to raise this money. All are all looking forward with great enthusiasm to the implementation phase. The project will help provide relief of future climate change, annual contributions to fund local community projects and an educational resource to increase environmental and sustainability awareness!”
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DVCE is registered as a Community Benefit Society with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) (Registration Number 7142). This legal structure is regulated by the FCA and governed by rules, which can be viewed HERE.