Getting closer…

Just a quick note to let you know where we’re up to with the leases for our solar project.

We’ve made good progress since our last update:

  • We reached an agreement with Salford City Council today on the content of the leases for the schools, and the Mayor has given his authorisation for the leases to be signed.
  • The final draft of the lease for The Fuse is being prepared, and is awaiting the consent it needs from a third party before it can be signed off.

While we’re getting closer, the leases haven’t been signed on the dotted line yet and so we haven’t released the funds from our investors today – as outlined in our share offer, we will only do so when the agreements have been secured.

Thanks for bearing with us, and we’ll update you again as soon as we have any more news.

We did it!

We’re delighted to announce that we reached our Optimum Share Offer target of £186,000 on Tuesday morning and we have therefore closed the Share Offer to new applications.

Thanks so much to everyone who has invested and all of you who made the time to promote the project and share it with your contacts!

We did it_440x220

What happens next?

We’re still working hard to finalise the legal agreements we need to put in place before we can release the funds, order the equipment and start the installations.

We’ll update you again soon…


In sight of the finish line…


Since our last update at the end of June, the response has been amazing!

We rocketed past the £140,000 minimum target needed to install solar panels on three sites – Primrose Hill Primary School in Ordsall, Irlam Primary School and The Fuse in Partington – and we’re now closing in on our optimum target of £186,000, which would enable us to fund panels at Fiddlers Lane in Irlam too.

The total investment pledged to date is over £173,000, and we’ve decided to extend the closing date a bit further to ensure that Fiddlers Lane doesn’t miss out – check out our Crowdfunder page to see how we’re getting on!

Recent activity

We’ve been working closely with our partners at Salford City Council and The Fuse on the leases and electricity supply agreements to make sure we have the legal permissions to install the panels and provide our electricity to the sites at a discounted price.

We have also kept up the promotional work with talks at the “No Planet B” festival event organised by Bolton Friends of the Earth, and stalls in Altrincham and at a festival on Kersal Moor in Salford.


Next steps

We’re looking forward to concluding the legal documents so we can accept the first £140,000 of pledges and start the installation process.

In the meantime, we have a little more time to continue our fundraising for the solar panels at Fiddlers Lane Primary School, the fourth site which we’re working on with Moss Community Energy.

If you know anyone who’s been thinking of investing, please do remind them to get their application in via our Crowdfunder page before it’s too late!

One day, one week, one quarter

First of all  – WOW! We have raised over £137,000 including offline investments.  Thank you to everyone who has invested, volunteered their time and/or shared the project with friends – you are amazing.


One day

With just one day left until our published closing date of 30 June, we are so close to our minimum target of £140,000.  Reaching our minimum target will be brilliant as it means we’ll be one step closer to installing solar panels at Irlam Primary, Primrose Hill Primary in Ordsall and at The Fuse in Partington.


One week

However, unless we meet the Optimum target we won’t be able to help Moss Community Energy install solar panels at Fiddlers Lane Primary School in Irlam.  That’s why we have decided to extend the Share Offer for one week to try to meet our Optimum target of £186,000 – so the new closing date is 7 July.

Let’s get behind them by funding a great low carbon, money saving, educational resource for the children and teachers there.

Fiddlers Lane 600x390

One quarter

Looking ahead, it is now three months until our deadline to install and register the solar panels with Ofgem so we can get the higher level of Feed-in Tariff (the payment for generating clean electricity) from last year. This is why we need to install the panels in the school summer holidays, so we are on a tight timeline to raise the funds, order the panels and get our legal ducks in a row in time to start work when the children are safely offsite.

Thanks for all your support, and let’s see if we can reach the £186,000 mark by next Thursday!

We’re over half way there!

Great news – we have passed the half way mark to our minimum target!

Including offline investments, we’ve raised over £80,000 – a massive thank you to all of you who have invested so far!

With less than a week left, it’s time to remind everyone who’s been thinking about investing in our project to help schools, the environment and the local community, to do so right away.

So please take a look at the Share Offer if you haven’t already, and ask three friends to do the same. We have put some suggested wording you can use at the end of this update. And of course, please keep sharing our Crowdfunder page on social media.

Our programme of publicity is continuing right up to the 30 June deadline. Yesterday we gave a presentation at a Nuclear Free Local Authorities event, and today we were pleased to be promoting our project at the Rixton with Glazebrook Carnival, just down the road from two of our schools in Irlam.

Rixton with Glazebrook Carnival


Upcoming events

Tomorrow, we’ll be at Altrincham Market from 11am to talk to shoppers about installing panels at The Fuse, a great community facility in nearby Partington.

And don’t forget to book for our community energy meet-up, which starts at 6.30pm on Tuesday 28 June at the Castle Hotel on Oldham Street in Manchester city centre.

Thanks for your support, and we hope to see some of you on Tuesday!


Example email to send to your friends

Have you heard about GMCR’s solar project?

Greater Manchester Community Renewables and Moss Community Energy have joined forces to fund the installation of solar panels at 3 primary schools – Primrose Hill in Ordsall, Irlam Primary & Fiddlers Lane in Irlam – and The Fuse, a community building in Partington.

This will save them money, reduce carbon emissions and inspire children (and grown-ups!) to learn about energy and climate change – and surpluses will go into a Community Fund to support eco-friendly projects in the local area.

GMCR is raising the money to fund the project via a community share offer. Individuals and businesses can invest between £100 and £20,000, and investors will receive share interest of up to 5% per year, depending on the performance of the Society.

The share offer is due to close on Thursday 30 June, so please visit GMCR’s Crowdfunder page at as soon as you can and help all four sites get their solar panels.

Happy Summer Solstice!

It’s Summer Solstice and Co-operatives Fortnight, so what better time than to invest in a community-owned solar project aiming to:

  • install solar panels on 3 schools and a community hub, saving them money on their bills;
  • generate over 100,000 kWh of clean electricity per year, helping to reduce carbon emissions;
  • create an income stream in the form of a Community Fund for future eco-friendly projects;
  • provide you with a projected return of up to 5% each year.

We’ve been busy promoting the project at various events, including the Makers Market in Spinningfields and Manchester Museum’s Climate Control exhibition, where we met this fellow…

Museum 400x300

Upcoming events

Next weekend, we’ll be at the Rixton with Glazebrook Carnival in Hollins Green from 11am on Saturday 25 June. Let us know if you’d like to come along and help out.

We’ve also organised a community energy meet-up on Tuesday 28 June at the Castle Hotel, Oldham Street in the Northern Quarter in Manchester city centre, from 6.30pm. All welcome!

10 days to go!

We’re pleased to have reached over £66,000 (including offline subscriptions), which is almost half way to our Minimum target.

Thanks so much to everyone who has supported us – from those who have invested, to those who have shared our story with friends and contacts.

Please do keep spreading the word, and consider investing if you can!

Project update – 9 June

I can’t believe it’s June already!  Time flies when you’re having fun… and also when you’re promoting a community energy scheme which will help schools and community buildings save money on their energy bills, save carbon and help children learn about energy and climate change.

Over the past few weeks, we have been out and about across Greater Manchester spreading the word about the project – from a car boot sale in Partington and vegan fair in Chorlton to a film premiere in Salford and a sober morning rave in Manchester!

2 photos

Fundraising update

I’m pleased to report that share applications now total over £43,000 when you include offline investments. That’s a great start, but we still have a long way to go before we reach our optimum target of £186,000.

Having said that, if everyone on our mailing list chipped in £250, we’d be more than half way to our target!  🙂

Upcoming events

We have lots of activity planned for the rest of the month to get the message out about our project and share offer – do let us know if you’d like to help with any of them.

Thank you and keep sharing!

Finally a big thank you to everyone who has invested so far.  If you’ve not had chance yet, please do consider applying for shares as soon as you can as this will really help to build momentum and encourage others to invest as we approach the 30 June deadline.

Please also keep sharing details of our project with your friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances, and encouraging them to join and invest too – here are some links you might want to share:

And don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

Share offer week 1 – up to £26,850

Fuse Frontage 10% size

We’ve had a great start to our share offer and are currently up to £25,850. Thanks to everyone who has joined so far. If you are thinking of investing, head over to our invest page, and to our crowdfunder, or you can also catch up with us at various  events between now and the end of June, including the following:

  • Thu 26 May 19:00 – 21:00 Unlock Democracy meeting – Friends Meeting House, Mount Street, Manchester
  • Sat 28 May 11:00 – 17:00 Manchester Vegan Fair – Chorlton Irish Club, M21 9DG
  • Thu 9 Jun 17:30 – 20:30    North West Sustainable Business Quarterly – Citylabs, Nelson Street, M13 9NQ

Press release: Local residents invited to back solar schools project

Greater Manchester Community Renewables (GMCR) has launched a share offer to raise £186,000 to put solar panels on schools and community buildings across Greater Manchester.

Invest in a Brighter Future v4

GMCR, a community group established in January 2015, plans to install solar panels on Irlam Primary School, Primrose Hill Primary School in Ordsall and The Fuse, a community building in Partington. They will also help Moss Community Energy [2] install panels at Fiddlers Lane Primary School in Irlam.

The sites will benefit from lower electricity bills and a lower carbon footprint as a result of the clean electricity being generated from their rooftops, and surpluses will go into a Community Fund to support eco-friendly projects in the local area. [3]

The installations will be funded from a community share issue, where members of the public can invest in shares in GMCR to own a stake in the project. People who buy shares will become members of GMCR and receive interest of up to 5% per annum on their investment.

Ali Abbas, Director of GMCR, said:

“We are delighted to launch our first share offer to give people across Greater Manchester the chance to invest in a project that will not only provide a financial return, but will also make a real difference to local communities and the environment.”

Elaine Darwin, Headteacher at Irlam Primary School, said:

“We’re really excited to be part of this project.  The solar panels will not only save us money on our energy bills, they will also be a great resource to help children and grown-ups learn about where our energy comes from and what it means for the environment.”

Cllr Derek Antrobus, Assistant Mayor for Planning at Salford City Council, said:

“We welcome this community-led project, which is giving people who live or work in Salford the opportunity to invest in locally produced clean energy, helping our schools save money and supporting action to reduce our impact on climate change.”

Roger Lightup, Salford resident and former Mayor of the City, said:

“I have invested in Greater Manchester Community Renewables because it’s a great opportunity to generate a long term income stream for further eco-friendly projects in Irlam and Ordsall.”

GMCR’s share offer is open until 30 June 2016, with a minimum investment of £100 and a maximum of £20,000. Those interested in investing should read the Share Offer fully and take appropriate financial advice.



Notes to the editor

  1. Greater Manchester Community Renewables Ltd is a community benefit society, registered number 7066. GMCR received a grant from the Urban Community Energy Fund, provided by The Department of Energy and Climate Change
  2. Moss Community Energy Ltd is a community benefit society, registered number 7174.
  3. It is projected that the sites will collectively save just under £50,000 on their energy bills, and a community fund of over £60,000 will be generated over the life of the project.

Share offer update

Update: Our share offer is due to launch to Monday 16th May – watch this space!