IN FOCUS: COIGACH CIC ‘ THIS HAS SMALL RE­TURNS BUT A BIG SO­CIAL IM­PACT’

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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