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Over 100 successful community projects funded by the West Sussex Crowd

A crowdfunding programme launched in May 2018 has seen more than 100 community-led projects in West Sussex hit their target and the window is now open until Thursday 13 February for community groups to put forward new initiatives and projects they would like to receive funding for

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The West Sussex Crowd, run in partnership by West Sussex County Council and civic crowdfunding website Spacehive, invites communities to come together and propose ideas to regenerate their local areas.

Since its launch, more than 2,800 local people, businesses, district/borough and town/parish councils have backed projects across the county, collectively raising over £750,000 and showing the strength of community buy-in for their ideas.

Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Fire & Rescue and Communities, said: “This grant funding is all about supporting community projects, strengthening communities and our councillors working with their communities to help generate support for key projects. 

“We are thrilled that 107 successful projects have hit their target with many more on the way. These diverse and extraordinary projects will strengthen local places and make West Sussex an even greater place to live, work and enjoy.”

Alongside money raised by outside donations through the West Sussex Crowd, the county council can also pledge to crowdfunding campaigns for projects which will have real impact in their local area. Typically, pledges range from £1000 – £5000.

Previous projects which have received funding include:

  • Friends of Downsbrook Forest School raised over £12,000, including a £6,000 county council pledge, from 51 backers to develop a community cabin to allow more people to engage with nature.
  • The Apuldram Centre near Chichester raised over £10,000, of which £2,500 was pledged by the county council, from 75 backers for a new transit van so they can support more adults with learning disabilities to participate in real life work experience.
  • Grandads Front Room in Bognor Regis raised over £9,000, including a county council pledge of £2,053, from 123 backers for a new allotment space, equipment and tools, bringing more local people together. 

Chris Gourlay, Founder and CEO of Spacehive, said: “Spacehive are delighted to be working in partnership with West Sussex County Council on this exciting initiative which has already inspired hundreds of people and groups from West Sussex to engage in transforming local places. 

“Our shared mission is to empower as many people as possible to shape their local area. We believe that if we can achieve that, people will feel a stronger sense of local belonging, and that the places we create together will better serve the needs and aspirations of local people.” 

To see the campaigns currently live and to make a pledge, visit www.westsussexcrowd.org.uk

If you’re a community group who wants to find out more about this round of crowdfunding, Spacehive will be running free workshops on 15 January at Worthing and Haywards Heath to help guide interested parties through the process. 

To register for a workshop, email info@spacehive.com

Community

Crawley Council want your views on helping tackle traffic and transport issues

Crawley Borough Council’s Cabinet approved plans for a public consultation on New Directions for Crawley, the draft Crawley Transport Strategy, on Wednesday 15 January.

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Crawley Borough Council is committed to enabling healthier and more sustainable transport options, working with West Sussex County Council and other partners to help to tackle traffic congestion and make our streets safer and more attractive.

Crawley Borough Council is developing a strategy to improve how we travel around the town and the choice of transport options for residents and visitors.

You can share your views on New Directions for Crawley, the new draft transport and access strategy.

The strategy proposes a vision of a walkable town along with improved sustainable public transport, car clubs and safecycling, using a mix of innovative and integrated transportfacilities to serve everyone’s needs.

It has been drafted as part of the local response to the climate emergency, which Crawley Borough Council declared at its Full Council meeting in July 2019.  

The council is asking residents to share their thoughts and ideas on the draft document, with the goal of ensuring proposals meet the needs of residents and visitors.

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

“It is really important for the council to hear your views on this draft strategy. “Transport is now recognised as the biggest single contributor to carbon emissions, which in turn causes climate heating.  It can also cause poor air quality and biodiversity loss. 

“We are all aware of the urgency for action on the climate crisis. This is a chance for residents to find what’s possible and to give us their thoughts on ways to improve access for everyone, to reduce congestion and pollution and improve health in our town.”

Residents can provide feedback to the draft Transport Strategy from 20 January to 9am on 17 February 2020 online at www.crawley.gov.uk/consultations or directly by email to NewDirections@crawley.gov.uk

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