992_496_mayor_6369_may2016-1The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is inviting communities across the capital to pitch for funding to improve their local areas, through his successful crowdfunding scheme.

The projects can vary in scale – from transforming a small community garden and launching a pop-up comedy club to opening a community wood workshop and rejuvenating a forgotten lido.

The best will attract pledges of up to £50,000 from the Mayor to help bring their ideas to life – an increase from £20,000 in the last round – from a total fund of £500,000.

Since May last year, the Mayor has supported 20 projects with more than £225,000 through the crowdfunding model, which attracted more than £400,000 in funding from other backers.

Crowdfunding allows anyone to propose an idea and for members of the public to fund it. If enough people pledge just a small amount, an idea can quickly become reality. The Mayor’s partnership with Spacehive – the world’s first crowdfunding website dedicated to civic projects – means community organisations have the chance to pitch an idea that benefits their local area and attract financial pledges from the public and the Mayor.

Well Street Market in Hackney was relaunched last year, thanks to funding through the Mayor’s London Crowdfunding scheme. The local traders’ association raised more than £80,000 on the Spacehive platform, including £20,000 from the Mayor.

The funding paid for brand new stalls, lighting and heating, Christmas lights, a live music stage, Wi-Fi installation, business advice and consultancy, and establishing a Student Makers market to encourage creative young people to produce and sell their own goods.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Through Crowdfund London, I’m proud to support the creativity of Londoners who want to do something positive for their communities and help make their local areas even better places to live, work and visit.

“We’re looking for the most innovative projects Londoners can come up with, but they must also be deliverable and have the support of local people – we want ideas which are realistic and will offer significant benefits to their communities.

“Our city is home to some fantastically creative and civic-minded people and I’m really looking forward to seeing what ideas are put forward for funding this year.”

The London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP) – which is the Local Enterprise Panel for London – is allocating £4 million in funding to pledge to crowdfunded projects during this Mayoral term. There will be a series of workshops across London, before a final crowdfunding event at City Hall later in the year.