SFW Communications

From complex ideas to simple, effective communications

+44 (0) 7979 368238

We offer PR & Comms consultancy focused on the ethical and sustainable business sector. With particular expertise in renewable energy, we’re seasoned campaigners with a great track record. And we’re passionate about influencing real change and empowering organisations to make a difference to their communities and in the wider world.

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Our projects

Our experience ranges from local, single-issue projects to major national campaigns relating to energy policy, energy efficiency and climate change.

We have many years' experience in renewables; having worked on onshore wind farms, solar park developments, biomass and hydro projects, at all scales. 

With our strong financial communications background we are particularly effective at communicating innovative financing models, community-ownership schemes and all aspects of financial PR.

And we really enjoy working with smaller, more innovative businesses who share our outlook and desire to build a more sustainable and ethical future.

Take a look at some of our case studies below.

Community engagement: large wind farm construction

Tirgwynt wind farm, mid-Wales

Tirgwynt wind farm, mid-Wales

We worked with Belltown Power to help manage the relationship with the local community around the construction of the 12-turbine Tirgwynt wind farm in mid-Wales. This included a press, radio and social media campaign; organising and attending public information sessions and community liaison group meetings; speaking at council meetings; providing briefing materials to local politicians and other key stakeholders; and responding to queries from the public. Read more about some of the unique challenges of this project and how we overcame them.

Community engagement: solar farm development

Schoolchildren enjoying a picnic at Pashley solar farm.

Schoolchildren enjoying a picnic at Pashley solar farm.

Through our PR and community engagement strategies, we’ve helped develop over 190MW of ground-mounted solar farms in the UK - now generating enough renewable electricity to supply the equivalent of 57,000 typical homes (Solar Trade Association data).

Our solar clients include the award-winning Solstice Renewables, one of the UK’s top 20 solar developers, renowned for its ethical approach. Solstice works closely with communities - offering generous community funds and innovative educational benefits - and sets the industry standards for biodiversity and ecological improvements. We have worked with them on sites from Devon to Staffordshire, ranging from 2.5 to 20 MW.

Wroughton Airfield solar park, viewed from the Ridgeway.

Wroughton Airfield solar park, viewed from the Ridgeway.

We also worked with Public Power Solutions on one of the largest solar farms in the UK: the 60 MW Wroughton Airfield Solar Park near Swindon, a joint development with the Science Museum. Despite outstanding support from both local residents and the MP, the project had a rocky ride through planning and was called-in for a public inquiry. Final planning approval was granted in March 2015, construction was completed in 2016 and a substantial community benefit fund is being set up with the Wiltshire Community Foundation.

Here’s a film we made during the planning campaign:

PR: Innovative finance solutions – Swindon solar bonds

Common Farm solar park near Swindon

Common Farm solar park near Swindon

We helped leading peer-to-peer investment company Abundance with local and green PR for the launch in February 2016 of the UK’s first ever council solar bond offer, to fund a 5MW community solar farm near Swindon alongside Swindon Borough Council. One of the most popular investments launched on Abundance, it was followed in November 2016 by a second Swindon solar bond offer which could be included in the UK's first green energy ISA and was equally successful. With our press coverage ranging from grass-roots parish magazines to major national green titles, both projects together raised over £4.2 million from investors.

Read more here.

PR: Community energy share offers – Southill Solar & Small Wind Coop

Since we started in 2013 we've helped community energy projects throughout the country raise over £14 million in investment directly from ordinary people, making an important direct contribution to the green economy.

Southill Community Energy launched a share offer in February 2016 to raise £1.4 million to build a 4.5 MW community solar farm near Charlbury in Oxfordshire – on David Cameron’s doorstep. We generated coverage in the Times, Guardian, Business Green, Friends of the Earth blog and more, and the project even attracted compliments from the (then) Prime Minister himself!

With our help, the Small Wind Co-op, a Sharenergy project to build farm-scale turbines in Scotland and Wales, raised over £1.4 million from 500 members and bondholders, closing in December 2016. We delivered extensive coverage in the national press as well as locally, including the Guardian, Business Green, Positive News and Good with Money.

Other community energy groups we have helped include Chase Community Solar, Calleva Community Energy, Meadow Blue Community Energy, Wiltshire Wildlife Community Energy, Bath and West Community Energy and Green Fox Community Energy (biomass).

Powered by Squarespace.  Image of Westmill Coop Solar Farm by Adam Twine