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Venture Spotlight: Spacehive

published 21 February 2017

 

Welcome to the world of self-service civic improvement!

Spacehive has been an exciting part of our London Ventures portfolio right from the beginning. It’s an online funding platform for projects that improve local places and is all about grassroots regeneration.  If the question is how can residents be empowered to transform their local spaces, then Spacehive is the answer!

We’re very proud that they’ve just been shortlisted for the Digital Agenda Impact Awards and on top of that, The Crowdfunding Centre Report shows that Spacehive is the platform with the highest success rate. 

 

So what’s it all about?

The platform combines crowd and grant-funding to make it easy for people to improve their local area from community gardens and street murals to festivals and sports facilities. Crowdfunding campaigns first seek the support of local people, ensuring community buy-in for ideas before they’re delivered.

Spacehive’s funding model means local authorities, businesses, and individuals share the cost of popular projects – offering a significant opportunity to accelerate civic regeneration across London. Spacehive has already delivered an impressive 260 projects worth over £6m, which includes 149 projects in London worth £3.6m.

And now for the technical bit. Local authorities, businesses, grant-funders, and individuals use Spacehive’s dedicated software to attract, assess and pledge funds to projects that align with local priorities. In simple terms, this means that local authorities can leverage investment for projects that will deliver great benefits to communities, respond to local need, and support their strategic plans. 

 

We spoke to Niraj Dattani, Head of Partnerships at Spacehive:

How did you get involved with London Ventures?

''We were part of the first wave of Ventures in 2013. We had just partnered with our first local authority and thought this was an exciting opportunity to connect with more. At this point, we really didn't know if local authorities would be a big part of our model or not. With the help of the London Ventures team, since then our model has evolved and working with local authorities is really important to us''.

What do you think is Spacehive’s unique selling point?

''Our service allows the community to lead the place making agenda in an area. The local authority sets the strategic framework, but this approach ensures more people are involved, more money is available, and there is more local buy-in for projects that are delivered''.

Why is Spacehive an exciting opportunity for London local authorities?

''London is awash with creativity, and more of this can be harnessed to improve a place to reflect its local, distinctive identity. Local authorities can also act as an enabler and use their unique role within the community to increase participation amongst the private sector. This increases the resource available for groups to tap into, and therefore significantly increases the impact of local authority funding''.

 

Why you should get involved

Having so many people and organisations involved in a single campaign creates a powerful way for local residents and businesses to turn popular ideas into reality. It also enables local authorities to drive civic improvement forward, with support from the community.

Spacehive offers lots of benefits for local authorities, including:

  • Leveraging an average £3 of investment into local projects for each £1 they spend by funding as part of the ‘crowd’.
  • Enabling grassroots regeneration at pace that is visible in the community.
  • Building resilience in the community by equipping people with key skills and changing the relationship between citizens and the state.
  • Handling time-intensive engagement with project creators and verifies that their ideas are viable before fundraising starts.
  • Offering social impact reporting providing digital updates to funders and monitoring the impact of projects once delivered.

 

Spacehive in a nutshell

Spacehive is a simple, transparent, self-service platform where anybody can put forward ideas to transform their local area, and anyone can fund them. It empowers residents, giving them a sense of ownership and pride over local projects and spaces. On top of this it allows local authorities to respond to community need and makes their money go further.

 

Find out more… you know you want to

If you want to get involved with Spacehive as a borough, contact Niraj Dattani ([email protected]) or Lisa Henry ([email protected]).

Have a look at other innovative products in our portfolio on our current ventures page.