THE COUNCIL has discovered an innovative and environmentally friendly way to generate income – by investing in thousands of solar panels in Swindon.

Twenty million pounds of council money has been ploughed into bonds for the Swindon Solar Park, where 231,660 solar panels create enough electricity to supply more than 15,400 homes a year.

The council is set to receive a £500,000 dividend each year on the bonds which could then be sold after the five years is up.

The plan shows Warrington taking the lead in new and environmentally friendly ways to protect the environment while all the dividends will be invested in council services.

The council’s executive board member for corporate finance, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “In such difficult times for local authorities, it’s more important than ever that we find new ways of generating income.

“That means taking a more creative, commercial approach in our day to day business.

“I’m really proud of how we are doing things differently in Warrington and this deal is a great example of that.

“This investment in renewable energy gives us the opportunity to give our own finances a real boost. It’s an innovative way of bringing in vital funds which we can use to protect essential council services.”

Swindon Solar Park’s is owned by Rockfire Capital and the company’s founder Liam Kavanagh said: “We have long been advocates of renewable energy and offer a range of ways for both institutions and individuals to invest in the sector.

“Renewable energy assets not only offer investors attractive and reliable yields, but are also a way for them to invest in something which positively impacts the environment.”