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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.

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Crawley Borough Council appoints two new senior managers

Two new senior managers have been appointed at Crawley Borough Council.

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Two new senior managers have been appointed at Crawley Borough Council.

Ian Duke will take on the role of Deputy Chief Executive from 11 June and Simon Jones will become Head of Digital and Transformation on 9 July.

Both roles were subject to a vigorous selection process, which included presentation and panel interviews with officers and councillors.

Ian brings a wide range of experience across several service areas from a number of local authorities over 20 years. He worked at Gosport Borough Council in economic development, inward investment and regeneration programmes before moving to the London Borough of Greenwich to lead on regeneration policy, the London Thames Gateway and external funding. Whilst at Greenwich, Ian delivered a range of government programmes to improve frontline services and outcomes within one of the country’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. He took this learning into consultancy supporting local authorities to work with communities to improve services.

For the past five years, Ian has worked at the London Borough of Hounslow and has been responsible for developing the organisational and partnership priorities, translating these into strategy, developing new ways of working, ensuring delivery and supporting transformation ahead of a move into a new civic centre.

Ian said: “I’m delighted to be joining at such an exciting time for the town and the council. The new Town Hall site is an important landmark in the ongoing development of the town centre and is a one-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink how we deliver services for our communities.

“I look forward to working with everyone to ensure that through this development and others, such as the new neighbourhood at Forge Wood, we deliver the benefits that our residents and communities deserve.”

Simon is currently Head of the East Sussex Better Together Alliance Digital Programme.

He was formerly Head of IT for East Sussex County Council and for several years he also led digital/ IT provision for a large London social housing provider. Simon has also been responsible for overseeing numerous transformation programmes.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said: “This is an exciting time for Crawley, as we take big steps moving the town and the council forward. To deliver on our aspirations for the town we need a strong team at the Town Hall.

“I’m confident that with Ian and Simon joining the council’s senior management team, we have the right people in the right roles to help build a better future for Crawley.”

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