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Launch event for CrowdFundLeicester scheme

Published on Thursday, September 14, 2017

A NEW crowd-funding scheme to boost community-backed ideas and get them off the ground is being launched in Leicester this month.

CrowdFundLeicester is a new community crowd-funding initiative which gives people the chance to pitch ideas that will make the city a better place to live, work or study.

As part of the scheme, City Mayor Peter Soulsby will be offering up pieces of underused land for use in the projects, and overseeing a Community Engagement Fund which will allow the City Mayor to pledge up to £10,000 a time to back popular ideas.

The City Mayor is launching CrowdFundLeicester at City Hall in Charles Street, on Wednesday, September 20, from 5.30pm to 7pm.

People attending the launch will be able to find out more about the land being made available, as well as learning how to get involved with the Community Engagement Fund.

Successful project creators from other parts of the country will be on hand to give advice on bringing community schemes to life, as well as explaining what to expect from running a crowdfunding  campaign and delivering a project.

A further CrowdFundLeicester community workshop will take place at City Hall, on Friday, October 13, from 12.30pm to 2.30pm, for people to get more hands-on advice and guidance.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “In this era of drastic cuts to Government funding, more and more councils are turning to crowdfunding to create opportunities for improving their local communities.

“CrowdFundLeicester gives us a new way to support local projects of all sizes, by encouraging communities to work together to bring ideas to life. 

“I’m very interested to see what sorts of schemes people suggest, from community gardens or sports facilities, to local festivals or art projects.

“I hope many people attend this launch, from seasoned community organisers to novices wanting to find out more, so that we can share this knowledge and give a boost to the wealth of ideas I’m sure is out there.” 

Numerous small areas of land have been identified by the city council, which are in many cases underused, unloved or overgrown, but which offer the potential to be transformed into projects such as community orchards, outdoor play or sports facilities, or pocket parks.

The Community Engagement Fund can be used to help projects which reduce discrimination and exclusion, encourage equal opportunities and promote good relations between communities.

The city council will work with crowdfunding organisation Spacehive, which runs the supporting platforms needed to operate the scheme. 

Similar crowdfunding schemes have already been launched successfully elsewhere in the UK, including Brighton, Manchester and London, to raise money for new and innovative projects that might not otherwise be able to obtain support through more traditional means.