PEOPLE are being urged to invest in a pioneering scheme that aims to cut carbon emissions in West Berkshire.

West Berkshire Council has launched the UK’s first Community Municipal Investment (CMI) to try and raise £1 million.

The money will be used to install solar panels on a range of council-owned buildings and support the council’s ambitious Environment Strategy, which aims to ensure the district is carbon neutral by 2030.

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The bond has already raised £800,000 and some of that money has been used to install solar panels on a leisure centre, a care home and two schools: The Willink School and Aldermaston C of E Primary School.

The Conservative-run council is aiming to raise another £200,000 and reminding people that they have until October 15 to invest.

People can invest as little as £5 and, according to the council, the CMI offers low-risk returns of 1.2 per cent a year over a five-year term.

Ross Mackinnon, West Berkshire’s executive member for finance, said: “We’re delighted that the CMI has proved so popular and will go a long way to helping the council achieve its environmental objectives.

“I’m very proud that West Berkshire is the first council in the UK to launch this innovative investment.”

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He added: “The bond has allowed us to reduce our borrowing costs by 0.5 per cent, saving money for the council and for our residents while also bringing environmental benefits to the district.”

The CMI is being run by the online crowdfunding platform Abundance Investment, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

You can find out more information about the CMI here.