THE chance to buy shares in the world’s largest community owned solar farm has been over-subscribed by almost 50 per cent.

It was originally hoped the offer at Westmill Farm, near Watchfield, would raise £4m but organisers say it has attracted a total of £5.98m from would-be investors.

Now Westmill Solar director Adam Twine is working how best to accommodate everyone who applied.

Mr Twine, 51, said: “A total of 1,630 people applied for shares, most of them local and most of them wanting to buy shares to the value of a little more than £1,000.

“The offer simply could not have gone better. I think it proves that people are interested in the idea of a community owning its own energy plant.”

The co-op directors are aiming to give preference to local applicants buying small quantities of shares.

Mr Twine said: “Anyone wanting less than £1,000 worth of shares will get all of them. And anyone living very locally will also get preference in their share allocation.

“Investors from the Faringdon, Shrivenham and Highworth areas will get top priority.”

The solar farm, on the same site as the Westmill Wind Farm, cost £16m to develop.