decrease font-size reset font-size increase font-size

Make a beeline to the York Hive
New crowdfunding platform makes a buzz in York

York’s very own crowdfunding platform will be launched today (Thursday 17 March) at the city’s historic Bedern Hall. One hundred community groups and business leaders from across the city will attend the launch event to hear about plans for the very first York Hive. This new initiative for the city is a part of Spacehive, a national crowdfunding platform with a purpose; to make it as easy as possible for as many people as possible to bring their civic environment to life. Make It York, the city’s Destination Management Organisation, is facilitating this new initiative in partnership with the online crowdfunding platform Spacehive.

Steve Brown, Managing Director, Make It York, said, ‘We’re passionate about developing York as an attractive and vibrant place to live, visit, work, study and do business. Whether you want to bring a wonderful old building back to life or create something completely new, York Hive will enable York’s local communities to make decisions on which projects are supported and help create projects that will make a real difference.’

Niraj Dattani, Head of Community Development, Spacehive explained, ‘Anyone in York can post an idea to the York Hive - as long as it's something to do with a space. We all share our spaces and places, and whether it's a one-day festival or a re-fit of a building, when people come together to make something happen, the sky is the limit. That's really the secret of crowdfunding, it’s about local communities getting together online to turns ideas into reality.’

The crowdfunding concept works by providing tools that help people to develop their project ideas, get noticed by crowds of people, companies, councils, and the media and attract funding to make great local projects happen. The York Hive will enable local people to see York Projects online and pledge as little as £2 to make a project possible.

Roger Lee, Visit York Tourism Ambassador and Director, Bedern Hall, said, ‘It is fitting to launch the York Hive here. For over 300 years Bedern Hall has been the setting for people to meet, to celebrate and to enjoy the sense of place which this amazing building and its history create. A new chapter in York’s history is being created today by enabling communities to turn their ideas into a reality.’

The first six York projects are; the Micklegate Soap Box Challenge; the Hamilton Panthers Clubhouse, the Rigg Monument, Abundance at Edible York, York Arts Barge and Proudly Indie York . Micklegate was historically known as York's finest Street and organisers of this project feel this wonderful street needs bringing to the fore of the public’s attention. To help get Micklegate noticed this summer, it is planned that on 28th August up to 40 soap box go kart teams will go racing down this cobbled street.

The quarter of a mile course will run from the historic Micklegate Bar past some of York’s most beautiful buildings before screeching through the finishing line on Ouse Bridge. Johnny Hayes, Head of the Micklegate Business Initiative, said, ‘We’re aiming to raise the profile of this magnificent Georgian street, one of the finest of its kind in the country, lined with stunning architecture and independent shops, cafes and restaurants. We hope this challenge will deliver a much-loved event that will create that sense of community and put this iconic York Street firmly on the map.’

Also hoping to meet their fundraising target are the Hamilton Panthers, a community football club run by volunteers, based in York. The clubhouse is situated on the Little Knavesmire, 500 yards from York Racecourse. Since its foundation in 1988 over 3,600 people have played for the club, including children from over twenty eight schools. The club has already raised £715k to build a new clubhouse. Work has now commenced on the building, however, the builders have discovered that the club needs to raise another £50k more to complete the project.

Phil Sanderson, Secretary for the Hamilton Panthers who is leading on this project said, ‘The club has already worked tirelessly to raise £715k. Extra time has been added to raise this extra £50k before the final whistle blows in 40 weeks’ time when the clubhouse is complete. It will be a magnet for anyone interested in getting involved in football in York.’

York Civic Trust’s fundraising project is the Rigg Monument; an 1830 graveyard monument to six children from the Rigg family who drowned in a boating accident on the River Ouse August 19th 1830. The monument is currently broken, eroded, overgrown and unloved. The original cost was raised by public subscription in York and nationally, as well as by local craftspeople (masons, stone carvers, bricklayers, and iron workers) who were employed to build the monument. 185 years on, York Civic Trust wants to repeat that process, through the modern new method of crowd funding, ensuring a legacy for York.

David Fraser, Chief Executive of York Civic Trust, said, ‘The Rigg Monument is currently in a bad state of repair. Our aim is to restore this important piece of York history and family memorial to ensure it is recognised once more as a monument of national importance.’

Hoping to help the local community eat more fruit and waste less is Abundance at Edible York. This is an existing project that picks surplus fruit growing in York's gardens and in the wild so that it is put to good use; gathered and distributed to local people, especially those who will benefit most. Abundance works by organising groups of people to pick fruit each summer and autumn. This year the Edible York team wants to recruit more volunteers to pick the fruit and to install a walk-in metal container to store the fruit.

To get the fruit to people who will benefit the most Edible York will link with voluntary groups to pass it on at food banks and community cafes and having storage will make it possible for more agencies to take part. Bill Eve, Chair of Edible York, said, ‘We truly believe in this project and how it can succeed. There is a site set aside for the new storage container, which will be rent-free and we believe this expansion of the Abundance harvest in 2016 will be the foundation for even more benefits for local people in future years. There will be wider geographical coverage, a greater volume of fruit handled and more people actively involved.’

Meanwhile the project committee for York Arts Barge is confident that creating a floating arts venue for York is now much nearer to reality. The arts are for the whole community to enjoy and project organisers aim to build a venue where you’ll feel equally at home and welcome whether you’re an artist who’s performing, you just want to enjoy a coffee while you soak up the atmosphere or you’ve bought a ticket for a gig or event. The funds raised will be used for designs, drawings and preparation work needed in order to submit the planning application.

Marcia Mackey, Director, York Arts Barge said, ‘We are renovating an ex-working barge which will become a unique multi-arts floating venue in York. Welcoming, inclusive and inspiring, the barge will offer a much-needed creative hub for the city and our local community. Funds raised will help to pay for designs and drawings, surveys, as well as practical equipment needed to help get to the stage of submitting a planning application. We’ve already gained great support across the city and we’re excited about making this vision a reality for York.’

Finally the sixth project going live on Thursday 17th is Proudly Indie York, the affectionate name now given to the formal Association of York Independent Businesses. This was set up following the Boxing Day floods and is made up of around 200 businesses who were directly or indirectly affected. Proudly Indie York was set up to champion Independent businesses in York, helping to ensure a bright future. The fundraising project lead is Cllr Johnny Hayes. The aim is to develop a map locating independents, extend the current Proudly York website to cover the whole of the city and develop a range of promotions for Independent businesses.

Niraj Dattani – Head of Community Development, Spacehive, added, ‘Anyone in York can apply to submit a project to the York Hive. It’s important to think about whether people would want to support it financially and how much you want to ask for to achieve your goal. Projects need to be for the benefit of the community where you live. The secret of success in crowdfunding is about getting the balance right between an attractive project, gaining public support and keeping the goals achievable and realistic.’

All six York crowdfunding projects will go live at on Thursday 17 March, where donations can be pledged and anyone who wants to submit a future project for the York Hive can register there.


For further information please contact:

Kay Hyde – Head of PR and Corporate Communications – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554451 Mobile: 07506 048852

Cassie Meegan-Vickers – Senior Communications Executive – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554436

Notes to Editors:

Make It York (York’s Destination Organisation) has an overarching remit to market the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. The remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand
Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York

Key tourism facts:
6.8 million visitors annually, £608 million total visitor spend, supporting 20,300 jobs

Who founded Spacehive and when?

Chris Gourlay is the Founder and CEO of the world’s first crowdfunding platform for civic projects. A former Sunday Times staff journalist, Chris covered architecture and planning, as well as leading the paper’s London coverage. He launched Spacehive in 2012 as a social business to stimulate new sources of funding and creativity for the civic environment. He has won awards for Spacehive from the Big Venture Challenge, Nesta, UnLtd, Deloitte and Downing Street.

What is it exactly?

Spacehive, the world’s first civic crowdfunding platform, aims to democratise the way we shape towns and cities by allowing anyone to create and fund civic projects online.

It works by providing tools that help people develop their ideas, get noticed by crowds of people, companies, councils, and the media, and attract funding to make great projects happen.

Spacehive enables people in local communities to attract support for projects that make places distinctive, lively and loved.

Is it new in the UK?

Spacehive has been operating in the UK since 2012 and is the first platform in the world for civic crowdfunding.

Who exactly is involved in spacehive (nationally)?

Spacehive is supported by organisations such as Big Society Capital, UnLtd, and Big Lottery Fund, and works with many different types of partners, from local councils, to small businesses and larger corporates.

Since being set up in 2012, Spacehive has helped to fund 158 projects across the UK worth over £4.8m.

Projects include

• Park and Slide, a day event that put a water slide down a Bristol high street and raised £5,650 from 532 backers.
• The Flyover Liverpool, a plan to turn a concrete flyover into an amazing urban park for the people of Liverpool and raised £43,809 from 344 backers.
• Global Garden, Global Kitchen, an urban farm created from the abandoned grounds of a former school and raised £10,894 from 110 backers.

How does it work?

Spacehive operates an ‘all-or-nothing’ model so that projects must raise their target or they get nothing.

Setting up a Spacehive campaign involves 1) creating your account, 2) filling in information about your idea, and 3) requesting to join the York Hive. After uploading your initial idea, Spacehive will ask you to add a bit more information, such as project costs, council permissions, and payment details, at which point you can then submit your project for verification. Project verification is carried out by Locality, the nation’s biggest network of community-led organisations, and it involves making sure your project can fulfil its outlined obligations and has been planned properly.

They may ask questions or request some proof of costings and permissions, but will then release your project into fundraising stage.

What exactly is the process to get on the York Hive once I have decided on my project?
In Project Details > Tools > Hives, you can request to join the York Hive.

And will you guarantee my project can be uploaded no matter what it is?

Spacehive has certain criteria that project ideas must meet, however if your project does not meet these criteria, you will be contacted and assisted in altering the project so that it works as a Spacehive project.

What safeguards are in place?

Spacehive has a verification process that ensures all projects meet the necessary standards.
If the project has been verified, and the crowd have demonstrated their support for the project, then the project will enter delivery stage.

The York Hive will enable local people to see York Projects online and pledge as little as £2 to make a project possible.

What type of projects can Spacehive help with?

Anything in a public space - or somewhere the community can freely access. Projects could be relaxing new green spaces, rejuvenated sports facilities, a playground for the kids, or a spruced up high street that entices shoppers to your cafe or pub. Whatever you like.
If it's a public space, and popular with the public, Spacehive is for you.

Are there any transaction fees?

Yes. PayPal, the secure payments system, deducts fees ranging from 1.4% - 3.4% + 20p per pledge - only if the project hits its funding goal. Spacehive also uses GoCardless, an online direct debit payments system. The fee for a GoCardless pledge is 0.5% of the pledge - again, only if the project hits its funding goal.

Key contact Details:

Niraj Dattani – Head of Community Development, Spacehive: 07877 711386

Cllr Johnny Hayes: 07804 933690 (For Proudly Indie York and Micklegate Soap Box Challenge)

David Fraser, Chief Executive, York Civic Trust: 01904 655 543 (for the Rigg Monument project)

Bill Eve - Chair: 07767 318123
Penny Bainbridge, Treasurer: 07726 904 456
01904 659574 (Abundance at Edible)

Marcia Mackey, Director: 07880821110 (for the York Arts Barge)

Phillip Sanderson, Hamilton Panthers Football Club Secretary, Project Manager for the York Hive fundraiser.