Across the country there are growing numbers of schemes enabling people to give financial backing to community-owned and run projects such as cafes, post offices and solar co-ops, and, hopefully, earn a decent return, too. Guardian Money has featured several, all looking to raise funds – whether to bring a vital amenity back to life, secure the future of a local business, or generate renewable energy. Share offers currently open for business include: Halton Lune Hydro – an opportunity to help fund the cost of building a 200KW hydro scheme on the River Lune at Halton, Lancashire, described as the biggest community-owned hydro project in England so far. The £976,000 target has almost been met, and the share offer is open until 30 September. Those behind the scheme expect to pay 5% interest after the hydro becomes operational. Anafon Hydro – launching today, this is a chance to invest in the first community-owned hydro-electric project in North Wales, which would generate and sell “green” electricity to the grid. The minimum investment is £250, and the directors hope to pay annual interest of around 4-5% gross.