A new investment scheme has been launched for people to tackle climate change by funding electric vehicle chargers and solar panels in the Cotswolds.

Cotswold District Council has launched Cotswold Climate Investment which allows local people to invest directly in a greener future.

People will be able to invest from as little as £5 to support a range of Cotswold-based projects to help tackle the climate emergency. The scheme, which is Gloucestershire’s first Community Municipal Investment, aims to raise £500,000.

Some £300,000 will go towards improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions from the council’s offices in Cirencester while the remaining £200,000 will fund 10 EV charges across the district.

Council leader Joe Harris said: "Residents can put their money to work to make a real difference towards delivering the council’s 2030 vision to cut emissions and create safer, cleaner streets across the district.

“Every single person in our community has the opportunity to get involved. Not only will people be contributing to these fantastic projects but it will also provide an option for local people to invest and make a return locally.”

The Cotswold Climate Investment is being launched in partnership with Abundance Investment, the UK’s first and biggest regulated green investment platform.

The new charging points include replacements for the ones in the Beeches car park in Cirencester and Old Market Way in Moreton in Marsh as well as four new ones at both the council offices in Cirencester and the Rissington Road car park in Bourton-on-the-Water.

Actions to improve the energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions from the council’s offices in Cirencester include: installing solar panels, updating lights to LEDs to reduce energy consumption, insulation to reduce heat loss and alterations to the building to enable more efficient use of space and energy.

Co-founder and joint managing director of Abundance Investment, Bruce Davis, said: “As a local resident, it is doubly pleasing to have the opportunity to invest alongside my own local community to fund projects which will help put the district on the path towards NetZero."

In September last year, the council signed the Green Finance Institute’s Local Climate Bond Pledge.

Emma Harvey, programme director at the Green Finance Institute, said, “Local climate bonds have the ability to promote and strengthen the role of local governments in achieving national net-zero ambitions, while giving access to cost-effective financing and improving engagement with the local community.

"Therefore, it is very exciting to see Cotswold District Council taking action on its pledge to issue a Local Climate Bond as part of the Green Finance Institute’s campaign with Abundance Investment.”

As with all investments, investor’s capital is at risk. Investments are long term and may not be readily realisable. The council says their communication has been approved as a financial promotion by Abundance Investment which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

For more information go to cotswold.gov.uk/CCI