THE directors of Settle Hydro Limited are seeking additional investment in the town's multi-award winning hydro-electric scheme.

Proceeds will be used to fund a number of performance improving measures at the Bridge End Mill plant.

Built in 2009, the scheme cost £415,000 and was financed through a mix of grants, the issue of shares and bank loans.

The directors are hoping the latest share issue will raise between £38,000 and £195,000.

The plant started operating in January 2010 and was expected to generate enough power to service 50 domestic dwellings.

However operational and maintenance factors have adversely affected production, including the failure of one of the bearings which supports the Archimedean screw turbine shaft.

A more reliable bearing has already been installed and other planned improvements include a variable flow device to allow generation at lower flows and replacing the existing automatic sluice gate.

In the long term, the directors want to restore the mill's original water wheel - which is still intact - as a visitor attraction.

But the company is also keen to meet its obligations as an industrial and provident society, which is to support community organisations such as Settle Swimming Pool, Victoria Hall, The Folly, Settle Stories, the Friends of Settle-Carlisle Railway and the Cave Rescue Organisation.

Sandy Tod, one of the original shareholders and now a director of the scheme, said: “This is an exciting time for the hydro. Teething troubles are hopefully behind us and we hope before long to be making the intended regular contributions to the community."

A drop-in event where prospective investors can meet the directors and discuss their plans is due to take place at Victoria Hall next Friday, August 8 from 3pm to 7pm.

Copies of the prospectus and share application forms are available on the society’s website The share offer is open until Wednesday, September 20.