Mayor invites Londoners to back innovation on the High Street on Sophia Hubs blog
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson, is today announcing a new £730,000 scheme to support local community projects as part of a world-leading civic crowdfunding initiative.
Crowdfunding allows anyone to propose an idea and for members of the public to fund it. If enough people pledge just a small amount, an idea can quickly become reality.
The Mayor’s partnership with Spacehive – the world’s first crowdfunding website dedicated to civic projects – means community organisations have the chance to pitch an idea that benefits their local community and attract financial pledges from the members of the public and the Mayor.
The Mayor will pledge up to £20,000 towards the best crowdfunding campaigns that can demonstrate the most local enthusiasm.
Projects could help to make a High Street a better place to visit or do business in, improve or establish a local market, give a new lease of life to a forgotten local space or empty building, improve access to healthy and affordable food or create a new cultural feature that attracts people to the area.
Ideas need to be crowdfunding on the Mayor’s Spacehive page by May 1 to be considered for a pledge, but it is recommended that projects are posted as early as possible to allow for public awareness, debate and refinement before a full campaign begins. A series of workshops for groups interested in putting forward ideas will be held in London throughout March.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This is a unique opportunity to empower Londoners to come together and make a huge difference in their community by pitching great ideas that matter to them. I look forward to seeing a whole raft of innovative solutions to local issues that will help to make the city an even better place to live, visit and work in.”
The Mayor has already delivered two successful rounds of crowdfunding through his High Street Fund, investing a total of £600,000 in 37 projects. In the last round, the Mayor backed 20 schemes with £285,000 worth of pledges. These were matched by more than £430,000 worth of pledges from the crowd, with over 2,200 backers from local Londoners to businesses.
The latest round of civic crowdfunding was launched today by Daniel Moylan, Chairman of the Mayor’s Design Advisory Group and London Enterprise Panel (LEP) SME Working Group Member at the PEER Gallery in Hoxton. The Mayor has pledged £19,000 towards the gallery’s plans to replace its shopfront after the project raised £25,000 from 187 backers through Spacehive.
Other successful civic crowdfunding campaigns ran through the Mayor and Spacehive include:
This is the first time the Mayor of a major European city has used a civic crowdfunding website to directly pledge money to citizen projects in this way and was recently recognised at the World Government Summit as a leading innovation. To date, over £575,000 has been pledged to 37 local projects. This represents a pioneering new relationship between City Hall and Londoners that realises the creativity and enterprise of local communities and businesses.