Sonya Bedford

Sonya is a Partner with Stephens Scown solicitors where she heads up the energy team; a Non-Executive Director at Regen; a Director at Exeter Community Energy, Avalon Community Energy and South Dartmoor Community Energy and vice chair of Green Wedmore. Sonya has an MSc in Renewable Energy from the Centre for Alternative Technology.

Sonya’s legal work includes dealing with all aspects of hydro, wind, solar PV, biomass and anaerobic digestion projects from feasibility and grid connections through to construction and funding. Published papers include – green belt and solar development, local supply, solar thermal, asset management for renewables and optimising AD projects.

Her recent experience also includes acting for over 20 community energy groups – from set up/funding/site acquisition to development and subsequent generation.

Sonya was awarded an MBE in 2018 for services to Community Energy.

Rupert Atkinson

Rupert is a finance professional and private investor in start-up / scale-up technology companies – many of which are pioneering examples of the positive environmental change being initiated by the private sector.

Rupert had a 30-year career in financial services, as a corporate credit analyst. This experience spans working for a ratings agency (Standard & Poor’s), a long stint in investment banking (at Morgan Stanley), and latterly, a partner and advisor to a private debt fund, lending institutional money to lower mid-market UK and Nordic growth companies.

Rupert graduated from Bradford University in 1985 with a BSc in Geography & Politics, and from the Cass Business School, City, University of London in 1995 with an MBA.

He complements his investing activities with support for a number of university enterprise / entrepreneurship initiatives, including the Launch Lab of City University (Mentor, and member of the Advisory Board) and SETsquared Bath (Mentor).