COMMUNITY GROUPS

Community Groups

At COGEO, our in-house consultants have the knowledge and experience to support Community Groups.

This can be through local projects that the community are working on themselves, or work relating to other proposals where feedback is sought from the local community. We believe that local knowledge and support can lead to a successful project for all involved.

For applications over a certain size, you may have a requirement for community consultation or at least a recommendation. Previously Cogeo has provided visualisations, information boards, community leaflets, presentations and many other tasks for public exhibits and open evenings of various scales.

Clear communication and shared knowledge advice are paramount to community groups. Our team understand that for some, these projects may be new to them.

Our belief is that if you address the genuine concerns of a community, developers can then design a project that is sympathetic and considerate. In turn, community consultation allows a developer to dispel some of the myths that can surround developments.

Cogeo is also available to provide information at open evenings conducted as part of a wider project that we are sub-consulting within.

To take the right first steps for your community group project, contact the relevant UK planning and environmental office for you here.

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CARES

Offering funding for renewable energy schemes throughout Scotland, Local Energy Scotland (LES) distribute support to both local communities and rural businesses to encourage deployment of projects with community involvement.
With a variety of loans and grants available, LES are able to support your scheme from inception to operation. Eligibility criteria has been compiled by LES to inform whether your business or group would qualify for one of their schemes which include:

  • Start-up grants of up to £20,000
  • Pre-Planning Loan
  • Post-Planning Loan
  • Infrastructure and Innovation Fund
  • Challenge Fund.

Further information on CARES and the excellent opportunities that they could offer your project is available on the LES website.
Cogeo have experience in working with LES and are currently in the process of compiling a number of applications for communities and rural businesses throughout the country. With a track record of successful renewable energy applications, Cogeo is confident that we are able to provide excellent service, advice and support for your Community project.


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RCEF

With community renewables forecast to be the future energy generation opportunity, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) have been charged with managing and distributing the RCEF within England. The fund is available to communities in England that meet the following criteria:

  • Represent a rural community of;
    o Less than 10,000 residents; or
    o More than 10,000 residents, yet is within a local authority area that is classified as ‘predominantly rural’ by the Office of National Statistics.
  • Form a legal entity in order to receive public funds
  • Demonstrate the support of the wider community.
    To qualify for the funds, the project which you are undertaking must be a renewable energy proposal which uses a proven renewable technology and will provide a legacy for the future benefit of the community.

The Fund could offer your Community a grant of up to £20,000 for an initial investigation into the feasibility of a renewable energy scheme. Following a successful investigation, the second stage of funding could offer an unsecured loan of up to £130,000 for a formal planning application to be submitted to your Local Authority for consideration.

Further information on the funding available and the eligibility criteria is available on the WRAP website. If you have any questions or would like to discuss how this could benefit your local community, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us whereby one of our Consultants would be happy to run through the options with you.


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Local Energy Service

In early 2016, the Welsh Government launched their Local Energy Service  which aims to support social enterprises and SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) across Wales to develop their own renewable energy schemes.
The service offers advice, support and funding avenues in various forms. Advice is available from locally based Development Officers who will guide you and your project through the process.
This Government supported service may present an excellent opportunity to you and your community. Further details are available on the Local Energy website. VG Consulting are able to provide you with the technical support needed to compile a thorough and detailed planning application for whatever project you take forward.


Concluding remarks on funding opportunities

These funds provide an excellent opportunity to get local communities involved in renewable energy throughout Great Britain. If this is something that your Community or local business could benefit from, it may be worth an application to Local Energy Scotland, WRAP or Local Energy Service for funding consideration. Cogeo is to help and advise throughout the process so get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss options with you.

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