Community development

Helping to create and maintain sustainable communities is a core challenge of wider sustainable development and lies at the heart of Aquatera’s work. Being headquartered in a progressive and sustainable community like Orkney, our team of staff and associates have a unique insight and experience to bring to this area of activity.


Aquatera has undertaken a range of projects and activities associated with community development.  We have supported clients from development agencies and local authorities to local community groups. Our work seeks to understand and analyse the characteristics of communities, helping them to follow a pathway towards sustainable development.  

Our team includes people who have played important roles within community groups, organisations and local government, giving them a unique ‘insider’ perspective.

Many of our staff and associates have grown up in and live in the particularly well-defined communities associated with islands. These tend to have a unique combination of local distinction coupled with global linkage. This island perspective, which enables us to appreciate local needs, find appropriate solutions and to motivate and engage local people has proved incredibly useful as Aquatera’s activities have spread around the world.

Aquatera’s experience in this area includes: public consultation, exhibitions and events; community project feasibility studies; community development planning and road mapping; community and crowd funding initiatives.


Given Aquatera’s environmental and energy focus, these are areas of particular strength, but one of the distinctive things about the company is the breadth of our team’s experience across a wide range of activities, working in varied social, economic and political contexts.  Our experience of working with communities in different parts of the world is a major asset.

We can bring this experience to bear on a variety of activities:

  • Community energy planning
  • Sustainable community development
  • Business capacity building in communities
  • Community and stakeholder consultation and communication
  • Community programme evaluation
  • Community led planning and development processes


  • Evaluation of large heritage project, Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme
  • Regenerating prawn pond production through renewable energy solutions in remote Acehnese village communities (Indonesia)
  • Leadership and Change of Heriot-Watt University’s Orkney Campus - International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT), Heriot-Watt University
  • Supply chain assessment and planning involving Newport community engagement for the development of a wave test site in Oregon, Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET)
  • Community engagement for the Highland Renewable Energy Strategy, The Highland Council