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Civic Crowdfunding

Civic Crowdfunding

Future Cities Catapult is working with the civic crowdfunder Spacehive and KPMG to support Manchester City Council and Hull Pioneers to develop an approach to harness the power of civic crowdfunding.

Local government is having to transform how it delivers, doing more with less. Civic crowdfunding offers an alternative model, one in which we believe can offer huge gains for Cities and Citizens alike.

Future Cities Catapult, Spacehive and KPMG have worked together to develop two pilots in two cities with key partners and funders. The pilots are up and running with ‘Our Manchester’ well underway and ‘Make Hull’ going live to coincide with the city’s Capital of Culture status this year. Both websites have received much interest with exciting projects being submitted, funded and delivered.


Cities around the UK face the enormous challenge of massive budget cuts and austerity. The need to innovate to continue to provide services and equitable outcomes and opportunities in our cities have never been greater. At this time, city governments also face another challenge: many citizens not only expect to be increasingly involved in such decision-making about their city but thanks to smartphones, social media and emerging smart city technologies, they often have better tools than city hall for doing so.

Civic Acceleration can help cities trial and understand the potential models of collaborative civic resourcing and new civic space benefits we already know of, include:

  • Maximising the impact of council and private funding
  • Harnessing the creativity & self-interest of citizens & businesses to create and back projects
  • Empowering a wider audience of project creators and funders to collaborate
  • Providing meaningful work experience and self-starting opportunities to young people

Working alongside city partners and local businesses the pilot project aims to encourage innovation and citizen ownership by providing an opportunity for crowd-sourced projects and events that celebrate and improve the built environment.

Due to the development and growth potential crowdfunding has gained over the years, Future Cities Catapult is keen to understand how crowdfunding can be used as a tool to benefit cities from an economic, social and financial perspective.

We will then apply our research findings to explore how other cities in the UK and internationally can promote urban innovation and citizen participation ultimately helping cities to become more sustainable.


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