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Swansea Council launches crowdfunding initiative to boost communities

A crowdfunding initiative has been launched by Swansea Council to help improve communities throughout the area.

The council has teamed up with national crowdfunding platform Spacehive to launch Crowdfund Swansea.

The initiative gives residents with project ideas the ability to attract funding from the community, council, businesses and foundations through an online portal.

The aim is to provide a springboard for project ideas to attract the funding they need more easily, whilst enabling everyone who cares about the area to contribute.

Projects can range from building a new community centre or improving the local park to improving a playground or putting on a street festival.

Successful projects will be in addition to schemes already delivered by the council.

Crowdfund Swansea complements the council’s regeneration work, specifically that by partnership body Regeneration Swansea.

People and organisations can pledge as little as £2 towards a project and contributions are only charged if the campaign hits its target.

The council has allocated a fund of £75,000 to back project ideas. They will pledge to campaigns twice a year – guided by a selection panel – and Spacehive will deliver a programme of events and support to help people with ideas to prepare campaigns.

 Andrew Stevens, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for better communities (place), said: “We’re excited to launch this initiative. I can’t wait to see the range of ideas that the people of Swansea bring forward.

“Local people are best placed to understand the challenges and opportunities in their local area and this model puts them and their ideas in the driving seat.

“People or groups with project ideas can start posting them on the platform now. They can request pledges towards their crowdfunding campaign.

“I’m also calling on companies, foundations and others who care about Swansea to offer support – funding or in-kind – to ideas posted on the platform. Together, we can then turbocharge the success of their campaigns.

“I really hope all sections of our communities – including individuals, families and businesses – get behind this by backing the schemes they like.

“It’s important that projects have a strong number supporters. Significant pledges are welcome, of course, but just imagine the power of 1,000 backers at £2 each!

“The more people that get involved in Crowdfund Swansea the more amazing places we can create together.”

Spacehive’s mission is to make it easy for people to improve their local area. The platform brings together people, businesses, councils and foundations to collaboratively fund projects that communities want.

Fundraising campaigns on Spacehive have the highest success rate of any crowdfunding platform in the UK and the platform has become the default way for a growing number of councils to fund place-based community projects – from the Mayor of London to Newcastle City Council. 

Chris Gourlay, founder and CEO of Spacehive, said: “The Spacehive team is excited to launch Crowdfund Swansea which is our first partnership in Wales.

“Swansea has a rich tradition of community support and is bursting with ambition and initiative so we see potential to make an exciting impact together.

“We encourage anyone with an idea for improving Swansea to post it on Spacehive as soon as possible.

“We’re looking forward to helping people bring their projects to life. A workshop is being held in Morriston on November 28 from 6-7.30pm; this will help those with ideas to discover everything they need to know to take part in Crowdfund Swansea.

“Whether this is their first time creating a project or whether they’re seasoned community organisers, our workshop event is open to all.”

To register for the workshop log on to www.bit.ly/WorkshopNov28.