IN FOCUS: COIGACH CIC ‘ THIS HAS SMALL RETURNS BUT A BIG SOCIAL IMPACT’
Bryn Jones: Coigach Community Interest Company (CIC) is an investment scheme based in the Scottish Highlands. The community scheme had a loan to pay for a wind turbine, which had a very high rate of interest.
They wanted to repay the loan and issue a bond. All the money the CIC makes in profit from the wind turbine is put back into the community.
This is a small community with 250 people, but the project would help by creating local jobs.
The CIC also wants to extend the harbour so the fisherman can bring more fish in, and to increase tourism in the area.
That is the epitome of what local communities can achieve through social capitalism. We want money to invest in projects like this, which can have a transformative effect. Issuing a bond is a much cheaper way of funding these projects.
For the fund it might have a small impact on returns, because it’s a small deal, but it will have a big impact on that community.
We’ve got a few similar projects in the pipeline and we’re looking at other deals. A lot of communities around the country should be looking at doing this.