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Sadiq Khan invests more than £400,000 in community projects

Light installations in Southall, digital art for Hackney youngsters and creating Camden’s answer to the New York Highline public park are among 25 community-led projects the Mayor of London has pledged to support through his Crowdfund London initiative.


Sadiq has pledged up to £40,000 to each of the projects, which have been selected from nearly 80 ideas from community groups who want to regenerate their local areas. Earlier this week they drummed up further support at a live ‘pitch and pledge’ event at City Hall.


This ground-breaking programme, run in partnership with London-based civic crowdfunding website Spacehive and backed by the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), invites communities to come together and propose ideas to regenerate their local areas, with the support of City Hall, local residents and beyond.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Crowdfund London represents a pioneering way for Londoners to drive regeneration of their local area from the grass roots up. It is inspiring a new generation of civic leaders and helping them unlock creative and innovative ideas for their communities.


“I’m pledging support to an extraordinary range of local groups for projects that will help strengthen their local places and make London an even greater city. I’m calling on Londoners to join me and help make these projects a success.”


The 25 pledges announced on Thursday 27 July, they are part of a larger programme which will invest up to £4 million in community-led projects across the capital over the next four years. All Londoners will have the opportunity to play their role in shaping London’s future by proposing ideas, supporting campaigns and providing the skills and resources to help projects flourish.


The projects include:


  • Southall Light Show (Ealing): £12,500 from the Mayor will help create a series of light installations, forming a trail across Southall to celebrate its cultural diversity and heritage. The group will run workshops to inform the design of artworks, which will explore the unique character of Southall and its community.


  • Ladywell Self-Build Community Space (Lewisham): £30,000 from the Mayor will support the creation of a self-build community resource led by Royal Urban Synthesis Society (RUSS). Local residents and volunteers will create a knowledge hub and education space for self-building, community-led housing and sustainable living.


  • Camden Highline (Camden): £2,500 from the Mayor will help fund detailed feasibility work to explore the conversion of a disused overground rail line between Kings Cross and Camden Town into a public park and green link, similar to New York’s famous Highline.


  • Hoxton Hall Youth Music Shout Out (Hackney): £10,000 from the Mayor will fund the design and installation of digital art and recording facilities at Hoxton Hall. The new space will enable young people to learn new creative skills.


The programme is funded by LEAP – the London Economic Action Partnership – which brings entrepreneurs and business together with the Mayor and London Councils to identify strategic actions to support and lead economic growth and job creation in the capital.


Chris Gourlay, Founder and CEO of Spacehive, said: “Spacehive are delighted to be working in partnership with the Mayor of London on this award-winning initiative which has already inspired thousands of Londoners to engage in transforming local places. 


“Our shared mission is to empower as many people as possible to shape their city. We believe that if we can achieve that, people will feel a stronger sense of local belonging, and that the places we create together will better serve the needs and aspirations of Londoners.”


Simon Pitkeathley of Camden Highline said: “We’re delighted to receive the Mayor of London’s backing for the Camden Highline. His confidence and support in the project will galvanise our fundraising effort which has been backed by residents, community groups and businesses so far, and enable us to take the next steps towards construction.”


Well Street Market in Hackney was supported by the Mayor in the first round of crowdfunding last year and Sadiq launched the market in December.


Project Manager at Well Street Market, Kay Richardson, said: “Crowdfunding through the Mayor of London's Spacehive site enabled Well Street Market to engage directly with the very community who would benefit from our innovative project. It helped build interest, excitement and support from the start and allowed locals to be key players in the process.


“Receiving the highest pledge from the Mayor of London was a game changer for us. This stamp of approval from Sadiq Khan raised our profile and helped us reach our target. Having both grass roots and top level support has been crucial to Well Street Market's continued success.”