A Bristol based co-op transforming the city’s wood waste into affordable timber is hoping to raise £430,000 to purchase its premises.
Founded in 2004, Bristol Wood Recycling Project (BWRP) works with a team of 40 volunteers to collect, repurpose and sell wood that would otherwise go to waste – saving 500 tonnes from landfill every year.
And it gives those volunteers – who include people dealing with long-term unemployment, substance abuse, learning disabilities or mental health issues – valuable work experience and the chance to boost their confidence.
Now, the co-op is using Triodos Bank’s crowdfunding platform to launch a bond offer to buy its premises, as part of its six-year business plan for growth.
Ben Moss, co-founder and director of BWRP, said: “We moved into our new premises a year ago to help us expand our growing business of reusing and recycling waste wood, building furniture and offering employment and volunteering opportunities. Purchasing our site – which is the purpose of the bond offer – will help us achieve that and provide security for the long term.
“Crowdfunding through Triodos will help us to raise the funds quickly and efficiently and the low minimum investment of £50 means we should attract a wide range of investors to join our community and help us create a positive future.”
Last year, Triodos became the first UK bank to launch an investment crowdfunding platform. Dan Hird, head of corporate finance, said: “We are proud to be supporting Ben and the team at Bristol Wood Recycling Project.
“The business has an excellent reputation and its work in reducing and recycling waste wood, as well as its volunteer programme, make it an ideal fit with Triodos Bank’s mission to make money work for positive social, environmental and cultural change.
“With a £50 minimum investment, we are able to meet BWRP’s objectives of making the bond offer accessible to a wide community of potential investors, supporters and future customers.”
The bond offer was launched on 28 January and it will run for another 39 days. The campaign managed to raise over £100,000 within the first day. The bond offer will pay interest of 4% gross per year.
However, interest payments are not guaranteed, and capital is at risk. The bonds are also eligible to be held in an Innovative Finance ISA, which allows investors to earn interest tax-free within each personal ISA allowance (currently £20k).