Cheshire East Council has announced the crowdfunding projects that it will be pledging support to following the first funding round.
A community sensory projector in Crewe, a repair café in Macclesfield, the restoration of the footpath along part of the Trent and Mersey canal bank at Wheelock Wharf and a project to provide adaptive bikes on a local cycle track in Poynton are among 11 community-led projects Cheshire East has pledged to support through the Cheshire East Crowd.
The council pledged up to £10,000 to each of the projects, which were selected from almost 20 ideas from community groups and individuals that want to improve their local area.
In the last few weeks, the projects have been drumming up support from local people and businesses in the hope of showing the strength of community buy-in for their ideas.
The crowdfunding campaigns are the first projects put forward as part of the council’s Cheshire East Crowd – a programme run in partnership with civic crowdfunding website Spacehive, which invites communities to come together and propose ideas to regenerate their local areas.
Councillor Mick Warren, chair of the environment and communities committee, said: “The Cheshire East Crowd represents a pioneering way for people from the borough to drive the change they want to see in their local area from the grass roots up. It is inspiring a new generation of changemakers and their supporters – creating a springboard for creative and innovative ideas for their communities.
“We’re thrilled to pledge support to an extraordinary range of local ideas that will strengthen local places across Cheshire East. I’m calling on people and businesses from the borough to join me and help make these projects a success.”
The 11 pledges announced today are part of a larger programme, which will look to invest up to £100,000 per annum into projects across Cheshire East over the next three years. Anyone from the borough has the opportunity to play their role in shaping Cheshire East’s future by proposing ideas, supporting campaigns and providing the skills and resources to help projects flourish.
The projects include:
● A community sensory projector (Crewe): £3,446 from the council will support the introduction of a new sensory projector to stimulate imagination and encourage collaborative activity and play at the Hopes and Beams Centre;
● Sandbach Wheelock Wharf canal footpath restoration (Wheelock): £926 from the council will contribute towards 140 metres of footpath restoration – benefiting locals, tourists and wildlife.
● Dane Hill Close park (Disley): a pledge of £5,190 from the council will help to replace the outdated and dangerous trim trail equipment in the park with modern, safe equipment.
● Adaptive bikes (Poynton): Poynton Pedals for All will receive a contribution of £6,458 from Cheshire East – which will help to fund further adaptive bikes, enabling limited mobility users to enjoy a ride along the Middlewood Way.
● A new lift for the Water Street Family Hub (Macclesfield): £7,000 from the council will contribute towards a new lift at the hub, providing full accessibility to all to the first floor.
Chris Gourlay, founder and chief executive officer of Spacehive, said: “Spacehive are delighted to be working in partnership with Cheshire East Council on this exciting initiative, which has already inspired hundreds of people and groups from across the borough to engage in transforming local places.
“Our shared mission is to empower as many people as possible to shape their local area. 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 residents and communities.”
Sue Reason, project creator and chair of Poynton Pedals for All, said: “We are so grateful to Cheshire East for their generous pledge to our project.
“Poynton Pedals for All was an idea that one of our British Cycling Breeze ladies had to make cycling accessible to all on our local cycle path, the Middlewood Way, which runs from Marple to Macclesfield through Higher Poynton.
“Our project seeks to purchase adaptive bikes for our local community, to enable opportunities for all to enjoy our lovely Cheshire countryside. The benefits of cycling improve physical and mental wellbeing, as well as helping our environment and these are key values which we seek to promote.
“The support and generosity from our local town council and the pledge from Cheshire East Council will enable us to achieve our crowdfunding target and to deliver our project -- enhancing the lives of many families in our local area.”
To view the full list of projects and to support them with hitting their funding target, visit Spacehive’s web page to make a pledge at www.spacehive.com/movement/ce/projects.
The next call for project ideas will be in January 2022.