Carbon reduction charity launches fund to help sector organisations develop clean energy projects

Pure - the Clean Planet Trust will offer low-interest loans of up to £100,000

Rock Village hall
Rock Village hall

A carbon reduction charity is offering low-interest loans of up to about £100,000 to charities and social enterprises seeking to develop clean energy projects.

Pure – the Clean Planet Trust, which recently received a £1m investment from Big Society Capital, is offering loans to sector organisations that are interested in developing renewable energy projects that qualify for the government’s feed-in tariffs and renewable heat incentive.

Robert Rabinowitz, chief executive of Pure, said the fund was open both to clean energy charities and to organisations with other goals that were interested in reducing their fuel bills and carbon footprints. All investments will be made in areas in the bottom half of the government’s index of multiple deprivation.

"So far we’ve supported a mixture of the two groups," he said. "Our investments range from £10,000 to £70,000. Our upper limit is probably about £100,000 at the moment, but that might rise as we attract more capital."

Rabinowitz said that he hoped eventually to raise a fund of £10m.

The charity is aiming to use the initial £1m from BSC to make up to 70 investments over the next 10 years. It has also received donations from Barclays and British Airways worth a combined £325,000, and expects to receive further funding from the two companies worth £150,000 a year between them.

Loans are repayable over five to seven years and are likely to have an interest rate of between 4 and 6 per cent.

The charity has already made five investments, including to Rock Village hall, and committed to another three. The charity said the projects it had funded to date would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,200 tonnes and generate more than £500,000 of new community revenues.

A formal launch event was held yesterday at the Cabinet Office in Whitehall.

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