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Community Generation Fund Now Open For Applications UK-wide

Community Generation Fund Launch
New National Fund is Launched For Community Renewable Energy Generation
Pre-financing is Available Now For Community-Owned Renewable Energy 
The FSE Group (FSE) and lead partner National Energy Foundation (NEF) are delighted to announce that the Community Generation Fund is now open for applications.
The Fund addresses critical barriers to community-led project development by providing support at both pre-planning development and post-planning construction stages, to community energy generation projects that can achieve  technical & financial viability, community inclusion and social impact.



Key Features
–   Finance for up to 75% of pre-planning development costs,  via open-ended  bridging loans which will be repayable only if planning consent is achieved successfully (“Development Loans”)

The Fund will bring creation and ownership of renewable energy generation within the reach of those communities seeking to create clean energy, social engagement and a long term income source for the good of their community.
  • –   Finance for up to 75% of post-planning construction costs, via term loans with flexible repayment arrangements (“Construction Loans”)
  • –   Projects sizes considered from 25kWp upwards, with majority expected to be in 50kWp-1MW range. All Feed-in-Tariff and Renewable-Heat-Incentive compatible technologies will be considered.
  • –   UK-wide initiative. Funding will be directed towards communities falling within the top 50% of deprived locations, as measured by latest Indices of Deprivation. The Fund is particularly keen to identify and support applications from top 20% deprived wards.
  • –   Strategy and fund application support will be available from NEF for certain selected communities
An initial £1.25million has been made available for this initiative via the valued support of initial Fund investors, Big Society Investment Fund and Esmée  Fairbairn Foundation. Further investment is expected to follow.
FSE and NEF will be undertaking  Fund launch workshops during March to give as many  communities as possible the opportunity and ability to consider bidding for support.
Details are available from The FSE Group website :
http://thefsegroup.com/funding/social-funds/community-generation-fund/



Quotes:


Sally Goodsell, Chief Executive of The FSE Group said :

“The FSE Group is excited to be launching The Community Generation Fund. This initiative will provide an innovative mechanism to resolve critical barriers to community-owned renewable energy, particularly within areas which do not have access to traditional funding or significant local investment capacity.
We look forward to helping the first communities develop their projects and in turn to establish their ownenvironmental, social and financial legacies.
The Community Generation Fund is one of several social & environmental finance initiatives being managed by The FSE Group and we will be making further announcements during 2012.”
Gabby Mallett, Head of Communities at National Energy Foundation commented :“The National Energy Foundation is delighted to be working with FSE in developing the Community Generation Fund.  Communities around the UK who want to progress their own renewable energy projects have long found that finance has proved to be a serious stumbling block.  This fund will now be in a position to loan up to 75% of eligible costs for both pre-planning studies and construction”.
Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive Officer  at Big Society Investment Capital said : “We are very pleased to support the launch of the Community Generation Fund which will help those in deprived communities to participate in the creation of long term environmental benefit through sustainable community owned social enterprises.”
Danyal Sattar, Finance Fund Manager at Esmée Fairbairn commented :“We are really pleased to be an initial investor in the Community Generation Fund.  Community focused renewable energy benefits local people directly with a flow of money to support good local causes and clean energy too.”
More Information
ABOUT THE FSE GROUP :
The FSE Group is an independent Community Interest Company whose purpose is to deliver growth funding and support to SME’s (Small & Medium Enterprises), and  enterprises that deliver a social and/or environmental impact. The FSE Group delivers all regulated activities through FSE Fund Managers Ltd, a 100% owned subsidiary which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
Over the last 5 years, The FSE Group has, delivered over £29 million of funding to enterprises which in turn has enabled those businesses to raise a further £95 million of funding.  The FSE Group also runs active Business Angel Networks to  link growth businesses with active Business Angel investors and provides training, consultancy and assistance to businesses to access both funding and expertise.

Jeff Dober, Head of Debt Funds
01276 608520
jeff.dober@thefsegroup.comwww.thefsegroup.com

The National Energy Foundation empowers individuals and organisations to take action to reduce their carbon emissions and counter climate change through energy efficiency and the use of sustainable energy sources. We pioneer and support programmes that change the way communities source and use energy for the better.  The challenge of climate change means changing all aspects of the way we live our lives at home, at work, at play and within our communities and  means that no one organisation, or indeed one approach will provide “the” solution.  For this reason working in partnership is one of NEF’s core values and we are delighted to be working with FSE, Big Society Investment Fund and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to establish this fund.
Contact :
Gabby Mallett, Head of Green Deal and Communities
01908 354536
gabby.mallett@nef.org.uk
www.nef.org.uk

Big Society Capital (“BSC”) has been established to become the social investment wholesaler as defined in the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008.  It will be capitalised with money from dormant accounts (estimated to be roughly £400 million) and a £200 million investment by the four major UK high street banks (“the Merlin banks”).
The purpose of BSC is to support the growth of a market for social investment in the UK – investments made for social as well as financial returns; to be able to attract greater levels of capital from a more diverse range of sources to address social issues; and to be able to allocate capital more effectively to achieve greater social impact.
Big Society Investment Fund was established under the auspices of the Big Lottery Fund to make the first investments of unclaimed assets, which will be passed to Big Society Capital when it opens.
Contact :
Alastair Ballantyne, Head of Communications
020 7186 2503
aballantyne@bigsocietycapital.com
www.bigsocietycapital.com

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation was established in 1961 by Ian Fairbairn, a leading city figure whose company, M&G, was the pioneer of the UK unit trust industry. He endowed the Foundation in the name of his wife, Esmée, with the greater part of his own holding in M&G.  Each year EFF commits approximately £30 million in grants and £5m in social investments through the Finance Fund towards a wide range of work. Our primary interests are in the arts, education and learning, the environment and social change”.
Contact :
Danyal Sattar, Finance Fund Manager (social investment)
020 7812 3737
Danyal.sattar@esmeefairbairn.org.uk
www.esmeefairbairn.org.uk

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