Great news for Cornwall community groups: The Low Carbon Society have introduced a revolving fund for is proud to announce the first local authority revolving loan fund aimed exclusively at providing Cornish community groups with the ability to build renewable energy installations in their local area.
And here’s the information:
The Green Cornwall programme, working with partners including Community Energy Plus (CEP), the Low Carbon Society (LCS) and Kabin (all local not for profit community based organisations), is proud to announce the first local authority revolving loan fund aimed exclusively at providing Cornish community groups with the ability to build renewable energy installations in their local area.
What is a revolving loan fund?
Revolving loan funds, once repaid, can be reinvested in future projects – hence the term ‘revolving’. These funds are attractive to local authorities and community groups alike as they give excellent value for money for the taxpayer, and provide community groups with the ability to access capital funds that would otherwise be difficult to obtain. Renewable energy is particularly good for the revolving loan model, as it creates revenue streams that can pay back any loan monies owed and also contribute to community projects.
Why is Cornwall Council launching this fund?
The key driver for this fund is to challenge the way that Cornwall deals with energy, as currently around 98% of the money we spend on energy leaves Cornwall. Green Cornwall is committed to keeping a higher proportion of this money in Cornwall. We want to reverse this outflow of money through supporting renewable energy projects that can strongly evidence how they will support sustainability, increase the resilience of our local communities, and provide strong outcomes for the people of Cornwall.
Key criteria and eligibility:
Projects must represent or be part of a ‘whole area’ transformational approach for a defined community outlining how it will embrace renewable energy.Funding will only be allocated for non-residential capital projects i.e. building renewable energy infrastructure, not revenue (running costs).Projects must meet the criteria and aspirations of the Green Cornwall programme (these will be made clear at the outset of the application process).Applications will only be accepted from fully constituted community groups. Applications from individuals will not be accepted.All applications must strongly evidence the outcomes of the project, and only projects that clearly demonstrate a community gain element which supports both further green investment and community resilience will be considered.Applicants can only make one application per funding round. While this may involve more than one specific installation, priority will be given to projects that are focussed and deliverable.There is no maximum limit for an application, however, the funds available for the Revolving Loan are limited (currently £1m is available in total) and it is at the complete discretion of the fund to allocate resources to meet the best possible outcomes regardless of the size of the proposed project.Projects will require strong financial plans that evidence how the loans will be repaid to the Low Carbon Society. It is expected that the rates of interest will fall within the range of 6.5 – 8.5% APR, depending on the nature and risk of the project.This loan fund will insist on first charge on the renewable energy installation. If match funding is being sought this must be made clear to any third party lenders.Projects that are ready to go and/or have the necessary permissions in place will be given priority.
The process of applying for this fund is split into three phases that must all be dealt with successfully prior to funding being released:
The first is an expression of interest (this can be downloaded below).The second is a more in-depth application form that will require robust financial and governance information to ensure that the repayment of the loan fund and the proposed outcomes for the community are realistic and can be met.The third phase will involve final scrutiny by a peer review group and the Green Cornwall executive (Cornwall Council run board made up of councillors and senior officers)
Expression of Interest Form
The deadline for receipt of expressions of interest is 12 December, 2012. You will be informed during January 2013 (dependent on the number of forms received) if your expression of interest has been successful and whether you can go through to the more in-depth application phase.
It is expected that demand for this fund will be very high and it will not be possible to support all applications from the funds available. As such, it is important that you read the guidance contained within the expression of interest and do relevant background reading especially relating to the ethos and ambitions of the Green Cornwall programme: www.cornwall.gov.uk/green.
It is expected that there will be a second phase of funding but there is no set date for this at present. Cornwall Council will update the Green Cornwall website with details of any future funding rounds.
All completed expressions of interest forms should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If successful, further information and instructions as to the next phases of the process will be emailed to the applicant. Phone enquiries can be made to Cornwall Council at 0300 1234 100.