WARRINGTON Borough Council will pay £18 million for a 50 per cent stake in a Scottish energy company.

The Labour-run authority will also grant a £4 million loan to Together Energy, which is based in Clydebank.

The deal over the equity stake and loan was approved by the cabinet at the Town Hall last month, subject to a ‘risk workshop’, although the financial details were discussed in private.

Earlier this year, the authority announced plans to become the first council in the UK to generate its own renewable electricity following investment in two new solar farms in York and Hull.

Town Hall chiefs say the £18 million investment will enable the firm to ‘supply its customers with green electricity in the future’.

A new board of directors will be created for Together Energy, alongside new jobs in Clydebank and 30 jobs in Warrington.

Paul Richards will remain chief executive and a new office will be established in Warrington.

Mr Richards said: “The team at Warrington Borough Council is both visionary and ambitious in its approach to sustainable energy and helping to future-proof community services through its carefully planned investments.

“Our combined strength will take us to the next level in our growth and deliver our ambitious plans to change the traditional energy model.”

Council leader Cllr Russ Bowden said the deal has been subjected to ‘careful consideration’ lasting ‘many months’.

He also believes it will bring ‘real benefits’ to Warrington’s residents.

“It’s a good fit between a council which strives to put its residents at the heart of everything it does and a company committed to helping our town prosper,” he added.

“Together Energy is a real living wage employer and is a champion of local community issues, offering employment and support to people who are out of work or without formal qualifications.

“Our investment will mean that we can genuinely tackle fuel poverty in the borough, provide employment opportunities and ensure we as a council continue to lead the charge against the climate emergency we all face.”