Hammersmith & FulhamNews

Invest in green future, and earn good return too: H&F residents urged to buy into scheme


By Ben Lynch, Local Democracy Reporter

Residents in West London are being invited to fund environmental projects – from community gardens to cycle hangers – with the promise of an annual return of more than 4.5 per cent.

Hammersmith and Fulham council has launched the second phase of its Green Investment scheme, having met its stage-one target earlier this year.

Cllr Rowan Ree, cabinet member for finance and reform, said the plan offers ‘a rare win-win-win’, enabling the council to borrow for important projects at a better rate than it otherwise would, while allowing residents access to a “low-risk, longer term investment with a highly attractive return”.

Under the scheme, residents can put money into the fund, which is being used by the council to invest in a range of eco-initiatives, for five years. Over that period they will receive a fixed return of 4.6 per cent interest a year, to be paid on a six-monthly basis.

The first round, launched in November last year and ending earlier this month, met its £1m target with funding from more than 850 investors.

Cllr Ree said: “I was delighted that we were able to hit our £1m fundraising target ahead of time, and am excited to move into the second tranche of the investment already. [Some] 864 individuals participated in the investment – more than any other area where this has been tried before.

“This shows the scale of concerns for our local environment and the confidence residents have in the scheme.”

Some of the money from round one is already being put to work, with projects including the introduction of 500 new cycle hangars and expanding the borough’s sustainable drainage network. It is hoped over various rounds the scheme will raise £5m.

Cllr Ree said councils such as Westminster and Camden have run similar programmes, but never on this scale. “We know that residents are concerned about the impact of climate change on our borough, and the council shares these concerns,” he said. “That is why we made the ambitious commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. Achieving this will require new investment in climate action, but also new ways of raising the funds to pay for it.

“The H&F Green Investment is the UK’s largest ever climate investment scheme of its kind, looking to raise up to £5m for local climate projects – far more than anything that has come before.”

The next round of funding, for which the council has also set a £1m target, could help with projects including a new community garden in Frank Banfield Park, extending green verges along New King’s Road in Fulham, and restoring the wildlife pond in Ravenscourt Park.

It will also contribute to heating council-owned buildings via cleaner, more environmentally-friendly methods, such as using solar panels and heat pumps. Residents have until May 27 to invest.

Cllr Ree said of the launch of the second phase: “This scheme offers a rare win-win-win: With residents being able to access a low risk, long term investment with a highly attractive return.”

Pictured top: Cllr Rowan Ree described the scheme as ‘a rare win-win-win’ (Picture: Hammersmith and Fulham council)


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