Community groups

For community groups and voluntary sector organisations, we offer all levels of support ranging from running half-day training events on effective community engagement through to designing and delivering full Planning for Real® consultations.

Costs vary depending on the level of support you require, and at every stage we will be as flexible as possible in order to keep costs down. Contact us to discuss your requirements. We will provide a quote for you, and we will be happy to look at ways in which you as a group can take on extra responsibilities through the engagement process in order to keep costs at a minimum.

If you are looking for funding

If you are a community group looking for funding we have listed some websites below which run funding programmes or provide information on possible funding and grant-making schemes. – awards lottery money to community groups and projects that improve health, education and the environment.

Community Foundation Network (CFN) – The CFN is the national membership association for community foundations, and manages national grant-making and funding opportunities on their behalf. Community foundations are support projects that engage local people in making communities and regions better places to live.

What we offer community groups

We can help you design an interactive, visual and inclusive workshop or programme of events. It isn’t just about us delivering the engagement process for you. We want to support you in facilitating the events and leading the process. By doing this you develop a sense of ownership and as a group you build your own skills, experience and confidence along the way.

Neighbourhood Action Planning – This is all about you, the community, big or small, identifying issues in your neighbourhood and thinking about how to change or improve them to make where you live a better place. Our Planning for Real® (PFR) process, based on a 3D model, allows residents to register their views on a range of issues, to work together to identify priorities, and in partnership with local agencies go on to develop an action plan for change.

We have worked with hundreds of communities helping them to develop neighbourhood action plans. We can train community groups in PFR or our other techniques and we can offer as much or as little support as you require through the process.

Neighbourhood Planning – Neighbourhood Planning offers communities a new way to influence the planning of where they live and work. It is a means for the local community to decide where and what kind of new homes, shops, employment opportunities and other development should be built. It can help communities decide what to do with developed land that is no longer being used, and help them identify and protect local green spaces and historic buildings.

We can support any group in the development of a neighbourhood plan for their area. PFR is a tried and tested process which helps communities identify the key issues and hence develop a clear vision and set of objectives.

We can help you develop a robust plan that will stand the key tests of independent examination and has the ownership of all residents, giving it a much better chance of being successful at the referendum of residents that will lead to its ultimate adoption. Your local planning authority is required to give assistance and advice but it cannot control your neighbourhood plan process. Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help.

Projects we are currently working on

  • We are working with a group of residents in South Abingdon, Oxfordshire to develop a neighbourhood action plan for their area
  • Supporting residents and South Somerset District Council in Queen Camel, one of the Government’s neighbourhood planning front runners, to update their parish plan and develop a neighbourhood plan for the area.

Finding out about projects elsewhere

There is plenty of information online about innovative community projects going on around the country. You can browse for ideas, share your own experiences and make new contacts.

The Civic Crowd aims to map amazing initiatives and ideas for citizen-powered change, providing an open public domain resource where people can share ideas, offer their support and propose actions to be taken.

Launched in October 2011, Your Square Mile is a citizens’ mutual open to anyone in the UK over the age of 16. It gives inspiration, practical advice and tools to anyone seeking to bring about positive change in their local community.