Torrs Hydro New Mills Limited was founded in 2007 and is incorprated as an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS). The Financial Services Authority (FSA - the regulator for UK IPSs) defines this special form of company incorporation as:
“An organisation conducting an industry, business or trade, either as a co-operative or for the benefit of the community, and is registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965. Societies run for the benefit of the community provide services for people other than their members.”
Torrs Hydro was registered in this way specifically so that the community could own the hydro electric scheme and operates for the benefit of the comunity. To do this, Torrs Hydro has a set of rules that set out our corporate objectives:
Examples of the ways in which we may carry out our aims include:
The financial year to 30th September 2014 was good. We saw an average level of generation - 147 MWh, but that translated into a £5,411 profit thanks to an increased price from the Cooperative Group for the electricity.
We also saw our reserves increase with a lump sum paid by the Environment Agency for taking over the ownership, and cleaning responsibility, for the fish pass.
This led the directors to recommend that an interest payment of 1.2% per share be paid, with £108 being added to the Torrs Hydro Community Fund (THCF). The motion was approved unanimously by the members and so our wonderfully shareholders will see their first rewards for putting faith in this scheme. To keep administration to a minimum, we will not pay out the interest unless it reaches £25, or is asked for by the shareholder. In addition, individual shareholders can nominate to have their interest paid into the THCF or used to buy additional shares. Two Directors, myself and Esther Jones, were up for re-election and were approved unanimously.
After the business, there were talks by Cath Moss from Sustainable Hayfield and Geoff Carrier who spoke about how New Mills is supporting sustainability in Uganda by buying and drinking coffee.
Richard Body MBE, Director
The rules do not allow the distribution of profits on assets to the members at any time.
Our company rules are based on a model set of rules provided by Wessex Reinvestment Trust which made it very easy to set up the company and launch a community share issue.