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Turkey magnet launches wind power cooperative

Norfolk-based turkey farmer Bernard Matthews has launched a community wind power co-operative.

Under the plan, the firm is looking to construct 50 m-high single wind turbines on land it owns at six sites in Norfolk and Lincolnshire, at a capital cost of £7.5m, which will be owned by the proposed co-operative.

The new project, called the Bernard Matthews Wind Energy Co-operative, is a partnership between the firm and Energy4All, a not-for-profit organisation specialising in developing community based renewable energy schemes.

And crucially it is also open to investment – with residents and company staff offered a priority stake in the venture ahead of other potential investors, and among those able to apply for shares ranging from £250 to £20,000 per person with shareholders receiving a share of any profits generated.

The firm was not able to say how much investors could expect from their outlay, but similar schemes in Europe and the North of England have yielded returns of up to 10 per cent.