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Bond Offer Aims to Raise £635,000 For Cheshire Hydro Scheme

Church Minshull Community Hydro and Triodos Bank are launching an 18 month bond offer today to raise £635,000 to fund the construction and commissioning of an 80kW hydro power scheme on the River Weaver at Church Minshull, Cheshire.

The run-of-river hydro project, which will be built and commissioned by Hydrosense Renewables, is expected to generate approximately 305MWh of clean electricity each year, enough to power the equivalent of around 77 homes.

The Church Minshull scheme, which has already gained full planning permission, pre-accreditation for Feed-in-Tariff payments, and a 40 year agreement for lease, comprises a number of features specially designed to benefit the natural environment, including fish and eel passes alongside the turbines.

“The Church Minshull hydro power scheme is a great example of a small scale renewable energy project which will benefit the environment, and the local community in the long term”

Dan Hird, head of corporate finance, Triodos Bank

The modern fish pass will open up the river to migratory fish species, improving connectivity and allowing fish to access prime spawning and juvenile habitats. A number of the fish species present within the River Weaver – such as pike, dace, roach and chub – migrate considerable distances in search of good spawning habitat. The eel pass, meanwhile, will enable eels – whose numbers have declined across the UK by around 80% since the 1970s – to migrate upstream to access good eel habitat.

The scheme is expected to be fully operational by October this year, with the bond being repaid on 31th December 2018, subject to a successful refinancing. The company then plans to transfer the scheme to a local community energy group next year which will enable some of the profits from the scheme to be invested locally for the remaining 40 year life of the project.

This will be the fourth run-of-river hydro project that Triodos corporate finance has worked on with the Hydrosense team. It follows the successful financing and development of a 300kW scheme on the River Dart in Devon, a 100kW scheme on the River Dove in Derbyshire, and a 280kW scheme on the River Ouse in North Yorkshire.

Dave Mann, Church Minshull Community Hydro, said: “This project generates a positive impact on a number of levels. It allows us to harness the power of the River Weaver to produce a significant amount of clean renewable electricity as well as building a new modern fish pass and an eel pass at Church Minshull Weir.”

Dan Hird, head of Triodos Bank Corporate Finance, said: “The Church Minshull hydro power scheme is a great example of a small scale renewable energy project which will benefit the environment, and the local community in the long term. We are delighted to make this investment opportunity available to individual investors who want to combine a financial return with positive local and environmental impact.”

Investment decisions must only be made on the basis of the offer document and not on any information provided in this press release. Investing in the Church Minshull Community Hydro bond is not the same as depositing your money in a bank account as your capital is at risk and you may not get back the full amount that you invested. An investment in the Church Minshull Community Hydro bond is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.                                  

About The Bond

  • Issuer: Church Minshull Community Hydro CIC
  • Target amount: £635,000
  • Term: 18 months; repayable in full on 31 December 2018
  • Interest: 6% gross per year, fixed and pay­able (net of UK basic rate tax) on 31 December 2018.
  • Risk warning: Investors should note that payment of interest and repayment of capital on the planned redemption date are not guaranteed and are dependent on the successful construction and operation of the Church Minshull scheme and the successful refinancing of the bond on 31 December 2018.
  • Min investment: £2,000
  • Security: Secured by way of a first charge debenture over all of the company’s assets.
  • Transferable: Bonds are transferable but are not listed on any investment exchange which means that they may be difficult to trade before the end of their fixed term
  • Timetable: Launch 26 June 2017, close 21 July 2017 (the directors of Church Minshull Community Hydro reserve the right to extend this).

Read more about the bond here

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