This week, U.K. Chancellor George Osborne delivered another gloomy national budget. In the context of ongoing austerity, local government in particular has had to tighten its belt and rein in spending, with things such as cutting library opening times or closing local projects. By 2015, on top of existing cutbacks, they will have to slash £3.5 billion ($5.3 billion) from their budgets, while a freeze until 2014 on the local tax they can charge is making it tough to replenish empty coffers. As a result, funding for civic improvements — from parks to sport centers — has plummeted.
But one British social enterprise claims it has an answer: Help the public fund projects they want to see continue — via the Web.
Hence Spacehive, which claims in its first year it has funded £1 million ($1.5 million) of projects via crowdfunding alone. And it says it has a further 300 projects in its pipeline across the U.K., with 12 councils having already pledged money for Spacehive-spawned projects, while five more have been inspired to launch their own similar crowdfunding campaigns.
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