It is the last chance to join Bury Community Hydro as a ‘pioneer’. The bencom in Bury, near Manchester, is working to establish a hydro energy project using an existing weir on the River Irwell.
Its £40,000 Pioneer share offer is designed to attract people who want to get involved during the project’s early stages. The closing date for applications is 27 March and the minimum investment is £100.
Investors who join now will get an estimated 10% return if the project proceeds as expected, and assurance that 70-90% of their investment will be refunded through tax if it does not go ahead. These rules were set to change on April but Chancellor George Osborne extended this tax relief for community energy in his 2015 budget.
Joining at this stage involves some risk, but investors will receive Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) tax relief, which refunds around half of an individual’s investment through their income tax.
The bencom has already won the tender to develop the project at Chamberhall Weir, on land owned by Bury Council. It is now working to obtain planning and Environment Agency permits.
The hydro will be fully owned by bencom members. Profits will be pumped into a community fund, which will support low carbon projects in the Bury area.