Crowdfund London


Crowdfund London is spotlighting five of the best community- led projects across the capital that the Mayor’s programme is supporting PLUS – How to get involved and win funding towards your own project.

The Mayor of London's programme, Crowdfund London gives you the opportunity to pitch new ideas – big or small – for community-led projects to make your local area even better. The best projects running campaigns on Spacehive, the Greater London Authority’s crowdfunding platform partner, could get a pledge of up to £50,000 from City Hall.

But what does ‘best’ mean? “The Mayor wants to back creative and distinctive ideas that can show local support,” explains the Greater London Authority’s James Parkinson, who has run the programme since its inception in 2015 and which this year has up to £1m to pledge.

“We’re really open-minded to different types of ideas but typically they will be civic improvement projects (think buildings, spaces or local resources) led by local people for the benefit of everyone in the wider community.

They must be not-for-profit and we’re using crowdfunding to help local people to access cash, skills and resources from multiple sources and their campaigns can be a powerful local engagement tool.”

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How to get involved with Crowdfund London:

You and your community need to come together to create something new and exciting to benefit the whole neighbourhood.

Projects must be

• In Greater London

• Well-resourced with a clear plan and budget

• Managed by an organisation representing their community

• Not-for-profit proposals that serve the local community their community

• Not-for-profit proposals that serve the local community

The Mayor wants to pledge to projects that

• Celebrate and strengthen the special character of your area

• Respond to a local challenge or opportunity in a creative way

• Give an unused space a new lease of life

• Help the local economy

• Give local people lasting skills and opportunities

• Make everyone in the community feel welcome and involved

• Attract strong support from the community – shown through a spirited crowdfunding campaign

• Are environmentally sustainable

• Provide access to affordable workspace for creative or start-up businesses

• Engage local people in a co-design process to improve a local public space or park

Projects could

• Help to make your high street a better place to visit or do business

• Improve or establish a local market

• Give a new lease of life to an unloved space or empty building

• Improve access to healthy and affordable food

• Create a beautiful new green space or cultural feature that attracts people to the area

Crowdfund London is looking for ideas that show innovation and enterprise and aspire to achieve a wider social good. Attend support events in the autumn to help you plan ahead of the next deadline, to begin campaigns on Spacehive in early 2020. 

Need more Information?

Have a look at some of the best Crowdfund London projects from 2019, free to visit during Open House...

Phoenix Garden and Community Building → Designed by Sian Architecture + Design, this purpose- built community centre provides space for hosting events, community parties and school groups. “The design,” says the architect, “was developed from an early concept of garden walls – a metaphor for ideas of enclosure, secrecy, and boundaries.” With a strong emphasis on local context and sustainable design, the building features robust brickwork detailing, super- insulating materials, air-source heat pumps, water harvesting and green roofs.

Ladywell Self-Build Community Space → This new civic space In Lewisham is being constructed with self-build volunteers led by the Rural Urban Synthesis Society (RUSS) to create a knowledge hub for community-led housing. Designed as a demountable structure using reclaimed materials, the project will open in time for Open House 2019. The goal is provide a community space to bring locals and new self-build residents together – and inspire other self-builders.

Clitterhouse Farm → The project aims to restore the historic Clitterhouse Farm Buildings in Brent Cross and bring them back into community use. Crowdfund London pledged the maximum £50,000 to help build a small on-site café and open three of the derelict workshops. The buildings have a long history, with the site playing host to a woodland sub-manor held by John de Langton in 132 with the area officially recognised by the London Borough of Barnet as one of “special archaeological significance”.

PEER Gallery  With its community garden, PEER has transformed the public realm where Hoxton Street meets Fanshawe Street with trees, paving, a raised bed of planting, seating and bike parking and public art commissions by Chris Ofili and London Fieldworks. Planting design was undertaken by Yvonne Say and Jane Heather and local practice Trevor Horne Architects developed the original designs for the layout of the space.

Camden Highline → Camden Highline, built in 1852 for the North London Railway, has been disused for more than 30 years. A community group of the same name is proposing to bring back the 1.2km railway line into public use as an elevated park and garden walk linking Camden Town with King’s Cross - a 10-minute walk. The project is currently working to achieve the permissions (e.g. landowner approval, planning permission) and fundraising the construction cost.

A selection of other notable Crowdfund projects from 2019

Livesey Exchange → Design engagement event for the Livesey Exchange – a series of pop-up workspaces created in a disused underground car park of a public housing estate on the Old Kent Road. The Livesey Exchange aims at bringing life, new skills and jobs to a neglected corner of South East London. Proposals for the Livesey Exchange have been developed by local residents Nicholas Okwulu of social enterprise Pempeople and architect Ulrike Steven of what if: projects.

Colour in Romford → A history making project in the London Borough of Havering, successfully commissioning and installing 4 large-scale murals in and around the town centre. Completed in 2017 with artists such as Ben Eine, Lucy Tiffany, Art+Believe and DZIA all on board, creating inspiring pieces of art for the whole town to enjoy.

Clapton Common → Campaign image for ‘A Village Hall for Clapton Common’, with residents proposing future uses for a disused toilet block to be revived as a new community resource. The plan is to turn the abandoned eyesore into a beautiful new community kitchen and meeting place - Liberty Hall. Provide a community cookery school - sharing simple and fun ideas that will be accessible to everybody, including local communities who keep kosher. The Hall will be made available for community use, and the surrounding area will be landscaped to maximise biodiversity.