Cornwall Council & Crowdfunder Supporting Community Ideas

Posted on: 2nd March 2020

Cornwall Council & Crowdfunder are supporting Community ideas for projects. This allows community groups to grow the community chest money their local Councillor awards plus allows funding for nature projects and projects that reduce loneliness and isolation.

Three types of funding are available – Cornwall Councillor Community Chest funds for community projects, Grow Nature Seed Fund for projects which help nature thrive and the Cornwall Social Inclusion Fund for Adult Social Care projects and ideas.

Residents across Cornwall are being urged to turn their ideas for community improvements into reality after the renewal of a pioneering Crowdfunding contract.

Cornwall Council teamed up with the online fundraising organisation last year, raising nearly £100,000 of funding for local community projects. The money included over £10,000 of council funds.

The Crowdfund Cornwall scheme, which is open to individuals, community groups and not-for-profit organisations, helps secure additional funds on top of council funding by crowdsourcing support for small-scale projects that will benefit the local area, help grow nature and now also includes funds that will focus on adult social care projects.

Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Portfolio holder for Climate Change and Neighbourhoods said: “We really want to encourage the crowd to back projects they believe will improve their community. It’s a really inclusive and democratic way to get people connected to their local community, to have a say in how Council funds are spent and to be assured that projects deliver value for money.

“The local community group gets the funding it needs, businesses and residents get to support local innovation and ideas, while the local community benefits from valued projects including improvements to the environment. It’s the start of a truly exciting adventure.”

Cornwall Council leader Julian German said: “This initiative was received positively by the community as soon as it went live, and we’re really proud to be supporting a Cornish business – Crowdfunder – in the process. We’re also the first council in the country to promote our Councillor Community Chest funds on a crowdfunding platform.”

Residents or groups with a suitable idea could play a part in transforming their local area by receiving a pledge of up to £1,000 from their local Councillor from his or her Cornwall Councillor Community Chest fund.

Alongside the Community Chest funds, Cornwall Council and the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty have set aside a total of £10,000 for Grow Nature Seed Fund projects. Successful projects can benefit from up to £500 each and have a chance to double their money through crowdfunding.

The Grow Nature Seed Fund aims to support projects which transform areas of community greenspace to nature-rich habitat through the creation of community orchards, ponds, wildflower meadows and verges, native hedges, or woodlands.

Bude Friends of the Earth wanted to raise funds to create a Community Orchard on a grassy area by the River Neet in central Bude. Match funding from Cornwall Council’s new Grow Nature Seed Fund meant they smashed through their original £1,100 target.

Simon Browning from Bude Friends of the Earth said: “Bude Friends of the Earth have been touched by the incredible response to our Crowdfunder appeal. It says a lot about the people of Bude (and Bude fans from around the world!) that we smashed our initial target in a little over ten days, and then our stretch target a couple of days later.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to the Environment Team at Cornwall Council. Without the Seed Fund I don’t think we’d have seriously proposed the idea. Thanks too to all of our donors – it’s been very encouraging to see the donations coming in. We can’t wait to get started on planting the orchard.”

Councillor Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council Portfolio holder for Environment and Public Protection, said extra help was needed to grow nature.

“Just protecting the diverse and wild spaces we have left is not enough. For the environment to continue to ensure we have clean air, clean water, can grow a range of crops and provide outdoor experiences that are essential to human health, we need to grow nature.

Councillor Rob Rotchell, Portfolio Holder for Adults said that the platform was going to open the doors to community driven change and initiatives for good.

“Crowdfunding opportunities like this are a creative way of supporting community based solutions that help people to be less socially isolated and lonely. I think that communities in Cornwall are best placed in meeting the needs of the residents they are serving and helping to reduce loneliness is so important for people, recognising that people who socialise regularly are less likely to need more intensive health and social care support in the future.”

Crowdfunder are able to bring huge skills and experience in the field of crowdfunding, making the project a hugely powerful proposition for residents and community groups. Crowdfunder commented: “We’re delighted to continue to work with Cornwall Council to make more ideas happen in the county. As a Cornwall based company we’re really looking forward to see great Cornish ideas launch on the platform.”

Find out more about Crowdfund Cornwall.

There are two Crowdfunding workshops available for individuals and groups to attend and learn about the schemes and how the funding works.

Bodmin 15 April (6.30pm – 8.30pm) – Register to attend the Bodmin event

Camborne 20 May (10:00am – 12:00pm) – Register to attend the Camborne event