Solar shares offer launch for Leominster's new school

Ledbury Reporter: The solar share offer is to launch early next month. The solar share offer is to launch early next month.

THE share offer for Leominster’s co-operatively owned solar array at the town's new primary school is to be launched early next month.

It’s believed to be the first one to go on a new build school funded by a co-operative in the UK – and one of the largest on any school.

Leominster Sunrise co-operative is delivering the project following the success of the original venture which installed a 50kW array on the tennis hall at Bridge Street Sports Centre in 2011.

“Our aim is to significantly reduce the energy costs of the new school and its carbon footprint”, said Felicity Norman, one of the co-op’s directors.

“It’s fantastic to see Leominster leading the UK again when it comes to community owned energy, after the success of the award winning first solar co-op at Bridge Street”.

The community share offer is being launched to raise the £150,000 needed to fund the 90kW array and will close on July 18.

Priority will be given to people living closest to the school and members of the public are invited to invest anywhere between £250 and £49,000.

A special offer is being made for those wishing to buy shares on behalf of a child in Herefordshire, as they can apply for a minimum of 100 shares (£100).

It is hoped that grandparents and other family members will consider buying shares for children, encouraging the next ‘solar’ generation to understand how renewable energy works and to share the financial rewards from it.

The project received a further boost recently when HMRC confirmed that the application for Advanced Assurance of Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief has been successful.

This means that most taxpayers will be able to claim 50 per cent of their investment back against tax.

The current head teacher of Leominster Junior School, Rhodri Richards, said: “We’re delighted to see such good use being made of the roof space of the new school and to be hosting the launch event on June 2 at the Junior School. We hope to see as many of the local community there as possible, as well as staff, governors and families of pupils from both the Junior School and the Infants”.

The launch event takes place on June 2 at 6pm at Leominster Junior School.

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