Release date: 7 January 2020
A crowdfunding programme launched in May 2018 has seen more than 100 community-led projects in West Sussex hit their target and the window is now open until Thursday 13 February for community groups to put forward new initiatives and projects they would like to receive funding for.
The West Sussex Crowd, run in partnership by West Sussex County Council and civic crowdfunding website Spacehive, invites communities to come together and propose ideas to regenerate their local areas.
Since its launch, more than 2,800 local people, businesses, district/borough and town/parish councils have backed projects across the county, collectively raising over £750,000 and showing the strength of community buy-in for their ideas.
Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Fire & Rescue and Communities, said: “This grant funding is all about supporting community projects, strengthening communities and our councillors working with their communities to help generate support for key projects.
“We are thrilled that 107 successful projects have hit their target with many more on the way. These diverse and extraordinary projects will strengthen local places and make West Sussex an even greater place to live, work and enjoy.”
Alongside money raised by outside donations through the West Sussex Crowd, the county council can also pledge to crowdfunding campaigns for projects which will have real impact in their local area. Typically, pledges range from £1000 - £5000.
Previous projects which have received funding include:
- Friends of Downsbrook Forest School raised over £12,000, including a £6,000 county council pledge, from 51 backers to develop a community cabin to allow more people to engage with nature.
- The Apuldram Centre near Chichester raised over £10,000, of which £2,500 was pledged by the county council, from 75 backers for a new transit van so they can support more adults with learning disabilities to participate in real life work experience.
- Grandads Front Room in Bognor Regis raised over £9,000, including a county council pledge of £2,053, from 123 backers for a new allotment space, equipment and tools, bringing more local people together.
Chris Gourlay, Founder and CEO of Spacehive, said: “Spacehive are delighted to be working in partnership with West Sussex County Council on this exciting initiative which has already inspired hundreds of people and groups from West Sussex to engage in transforming local places.
“Our shared mission is to empower as many people as possible to shape their local area. We believe that if we can achieve that, people will feel a stronger sense of local belonging, and that the places we create together will better serve the needs and aspirations of local people.”
Visit the West Sussex Crowd to see the campaigns currently live and make a pledge.
If you’re a community group who wants to find out more about this round of crowdfunding, Spacehive will be running free workshops on 15 January at Worthing and Haywards Heath to help guide interested parties through the process and people can register for a workshop via email.