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Crowdfunding comes to Crawley

Crawley Borough Council has teamed up with Spacehive.

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Crowdfunding is about to land in Crawley giving local people a platform to raise funds for community projects and make a difference to their town.

Crawley Borough Council has teamed up with Spacehive for a modern take on this well-established practice by providing a dedicated online home for Crawley community projects looking to raise funds.

It’s often a misconception that crowdfunding is a new idea; in fact the Statue of Liberty is an early example of this approach. Back in 1885 thousands of New Yorkers clubbed together to fund the plinth which the statue would stand on for centuries.

Crawley’s Spacehive platform will enable organisations to raise awareness and support for their project, also giving them the opportunity to unlock grants and other funds.

Organisations such as the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and West Sussex County Council are also using the site to distribute their funding programmes. This means project organisers will be pointed in the direction of potential additional funding which could help boost their coffers.

The money is collected by Crawley Borough Council through charges against new development to create the Neighbourhood Improvement Fund. Community organisations with crowdfund project ideas can access the Neighbourhood Improvement Fund and be considered for a pledge, provided their idea benefits the residents of Crawley by improving the local environment, community services or facilities which are sometimes affected by development. The council may pledge up to 50 per cent of the total project target, capped at £5,000.

Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said:

“Crowdfunding is a great way of using developers’ money to benefit local communities because the funding is spent on projects that the community wants.

“I’m delighted that Crawley Borough Council is leading on this initiative and giving communities a platform to raise awareness and financial support for their project.”

There is a five per cent charge to all successful projects who have used the Spacehive site. This is an administration cost which includes an external company, locality, to help check that projects have included the necessary information to give people the peace of mind when making a pledge. Organisers are reminded to raise extra to cover the charge. Projects which fail to reach their target will not be charged.

The Crowdfund Crawley movement site will be available towards the end of May, with the official launch on Wednesday 20 June – so start planning your projects now, all you need is a great idea!

For more information and FAQs click here.

Business

Crawley Borough Council award grants to two local businesses

Two business start-ups have got a leg up through Crawley Borough Council’s Small Business Grants Scheme.

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The Company Connector Ltd and Haus of FLVR are the latest companies to benefit from a council grant, which awards small businesses with up £2,000.

Manor Royal-based business, The Company Connector Ltd, will support local businesses with finding new clients and opportunities as well as encouraging inward investment from overseas. The company has already supported a number of Crawley businesses on a consultancy basis and helped to generate new business.

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The council awarded The Company Connector Ltd with the maximum amount of £2,000, assisting the start-up and first year costs. The financial boost has helped to establish the brand, website and social media, along with the necessary furniture and computer equipment.

Jeremy Taylor, Managing Director of The Company Connector Ltd, said:

“I am delighted to have been awarded this grant, it will contribute towards the set up and immediate development plans of the business including our first mission to Austin, Texas.

“In addition, the grant will enable us to support local businesses reach overseas markets as well as encouraging inward investment from other business centres. I applaud the council for recognising it costs a lot to establish a business that creates new jobs; this assistance is well received”

Haus of FLVR, a company that produces high quality alcohol infused frozen goods, received £2,000 from the Small Business Grant Scheme. The businesses main aims are to create an exciting, affordable and aesthetically pleasing product that brings a fresh and fashionable approach to ice lollies and canapés.

Samara Gidden, Director of Haus of FLVR, said:

“We are thrilled to receive funding to help produce a creative packaging solution that is luxurious and eco-friendly – both prerequisites will work in cohesion.

“We look forward to developing our packaging further and drive our business forward.”

Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Peter Smith, said: “I’m pleased that we can offer two start-up businesses a £2,000 grant.

“It’s important to support businesses in the initial stages; it helps them to get off the ground and positively contributes towards the town’s economic climate.”

The grants scheme is for small businesses with less than 50 employees who operate in the Crawley area.

All Small Business Support Grants projects must be match-funded at least 50 per cent by the small business. Apprenticeship grants up to £1,500 are also available and don’t need to be match-funded.

For more information about business grants and funding visit www.crawley.gov.uk/business

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