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'Crowd funding' plan to help South Kesteven good causes

An internet -based method of raising funds for business start-ups could soon be applied to help good causes in South Kesteven.

Councillors are already backing a ‘crowd funding’ initiative, though South Kesteven District Council is yet to make a final decision.

If approved, SKDC would be one of the first rural council to use crowd funding, which finances a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people who each contribute a small amount by donating online.

Coun Kelham Cooke (13240615)
Coun Kelham Cooke (13240615)

At present, SKDC has aCommunity Fund of £150,000 a year for community initiatives and events, but it believes crowd funding could multiply the funding available for good cause several times.

Deputy leader, Coun Kelham Cooke, said:”Where crowd funding has already been introduced it provides an innovative and exciting way for groups to fund projects which will deliver significant benefits to communities.

“It energises groups into launching schemes the wider community would like to see and not just those SKDC would support. Providing the means for an alternative source of funding like this would also support business and stimulate the local economy.”

SKDC is prepared to set aside £70,000 to support community crowd funded projects. If the initiative gets the go-ahead it would use the London-based social business Spacehive to provide expertise, resources and a website for groups to raise money for themselves, which would cost £30,000 a year.

Successful crowd funded projects elsewhere include a community cinemaproviding headsets to help people with sight and hearing loss to enjoy films, while a wildflower meadow has been created at a country park. Council crowd funding in Leicestershire, Swansea and Sefton saw funding available for community-based projects grow by up to 300%.

One council committee has already backed the idea and the Governance and Audit Committee has also agreed to set aside the cash, pending a decision.

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