Raise money with us

We work with councils across the UK to help fund their climate action plans by borrowing from their residents and the wider public. A climate investment programme funded this way is a powerful way to engage with residents and also offers councils a new and cost-effective source of borrowing.

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Our council climate investments are reviving an old idea for the digital age

Forty years ago it was common for UK councils to borrow money from their residents as an alternative to borrowing from institutional lenders such as banks, or the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) which sits in HM Treasury. The high administrative costs of the paper age meant this model of local borrowing and saving fell out of use.

Our council investments, developed in partnership with the University of Leeds in 2020, are a reinvention of this approach for the internet age. Using the innovation of crowdfunding, they are a way for councils to raise money from residents and the general public to fund green projects. Our council investments not only provide a competitive source of finance for capital and investment programmes, they help councils deepen the conversation about climate change with the communities they serve.

Our research demonstrated that these investments can be a cost effective way for councils to engage with the communities they serve. Subsequent research, funded by the Place-based Climate Action Network, now provides real confidence that they can also deliver higher social value, by enhancing place-based pride, and through better community understanding and engagement with council activities.

Professor Mark Davis

Professor Mark Davis

University of Leeds
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Build your local saver and investor market

Research by Place Climate Action Network, based on a survey with 2,000 adults across the UK, found that 73% of savers and investors are interested in lending money to their council if it helps deliver environmental or socially beneficial projects.

And there is a lot of money that could be invested in this way. ONS data shows that the average group of 100,000 people in the UK holds £4bn in savings and investments. The vast majority of this wealth currently flows out of communities into national or international saving and investment products.Our council investments offer a unique way to keep that money delivering positive action in local communities.

Building a network of local savers and investors takes time, but it offers a great way for councils to create genuinely deep connections within their communities.

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A cost effective source of borrowing

Our loans offer councils a competitive source of borrowing which can help save them money. The interest rate on the loan, plus the fees charged by Abundance, are set to match or beat the rate available from Treasury through the Public Works Loan Board at the time of issuing the loan, depending on the particular priorities for your climate investment programme.

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A regulated platform to service your investments

Abundance is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. We handle all the investment administration for the council’s loan and support the council to market the investment within its community and to the wider UK public.

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Engage residents with your climate plan

Offering a climate investment creates a new platform for engaging and communicating with local residents. Research from the Local Government Association indicates that higher levels of local government transparency and communication increase residents’ support and trust.

In the context of climate action, an investment like this is a tool for demonstrating and communicating action, and can help build residents’ confidence to act in their own lives.

Anyone can invest from just £5, so an investment like this can be accessible to everyone in your community, regardless of the amount they have to invest. And because you also have the option to allow residents to donate some or all of their interest payments back to the council to help fund further climate work, councils can deepen their conversation with local people about their programme.

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Investments are compliant with the Green Loan Principles

Our council investments are designed to adhere to the internationally recognised Green Loan Principles, which allows councils to effectively mirror the UK Government’s Green Gilt programme.

The Green Loan Principles have been developed by the Loan Market Association with a view to promoting the development and integrity of the green loan market. They build on and refer to the principles of the International Capital Market Association, to promote consistency across both instruments. The framework is the same as the one used by the UK Government in its Green Gilt programme.

Abundance has developed a process to ensure any investment you create with us is compliant, and so can be legitimately described as a green investment.