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Spacehive logo.png
Type of site
Crowdfunding (Social business)
Founder(s)Chris Gourlay
LaunchedFebruary 1, 2012; 7 years ago (2012-02-01)

Spacehive is a United Kingdom-based crowdfunding platform for projects aimed at improving local civic and community spaces.


According to the company's website, Spacehive's mission is to "empower people to make their local area better". As of October 2018 Spacehive has been used to crowdfund 500 projects worth over £10 million including the Camden Highline,[1] a giant water slide down a high street in Bristol,[2] the revival of Peckham Lido in London,[3] and a community centre in the deprived ex-mining town of Glyncoch, Wales.[4]

Spacehive was launched in 2012 by Chris Gourlay, a former Sunday Times journalist who specialised in architecture and planning stories.[5]

Supported by the Big Lottery Fund and a mix of private and social investors, the social business maximises sources of funding for projects by allowing cash raised locally to be combined with grant funding streams available for civic projects from government, foundations and businesses. Backers of projects are only charged if the funding target is reached.

Project creators can apply for grants via the platform at the same time as crowdfunding. They can also request in-kind contributions towards the cost of the project.

Each project is verified by partner organisation Locality[6] to ensure its viability before it starts funding. According to the company, the average success rate for fundraising campaigns on Spacehive is 52%, whilst projects that secure just 10% of their funding target have a 79% success rate.[7]

In addition to its service for project creators, Spacehive provides specialised software and support services[8] to help councils, companies, and foundations that it partners with to fund projects alongside the crowd and to measure their social impact. Spacehive's partners include the Mayor of London, Manchester City Council, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, GLL, and Veolia. Spacehive projects have attracted significant press coverage in the UK and internationally. Notable supporters of Spacehive projects include the actress Joanna Lumley, broadcaster Kevin McCloud,[9] the comedian Stephen Fry,[10] the actor James Norton,[11] and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan[12]


Unlike other crowdfunding sites that offer material rewards to incentivise backers, most Spacehive projects simply offer delivery of the project itself.



  1. ^ Alice French (27 June 2017). "There's a crowdfunding campaign to make the Camden Highline a reality". Time Out.
  2. ^ Amy Frearson (6 May 2014). "Luke Jerram transforms Bristol's Park Street into 90-metre water slide". Dezeen.
  3. ^ Peckham Lido campaign reaches target, Southwark News.
  4. ^ Crowdfunding Community Projects, The Guardian.
  5. ^ Chris Gourlay:
  6. ^ a b "Prime Minister hails the rise of 'civic crowdfunding'". GOV.UK (Press release). Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street. 27 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Create a new project". Spacehive.
  8. ^ "Partner Services - Software and support to help local crowdfunding". Spacehive.
  9. ^ "Kevin McCloud - Spacehive profile". Spacehive.
  10. ^ "Fry tweets to save community centre". BBC News. 23 February 2012.
  11. ^ James Norton Backs Lido, Southwark News
  12. ^ "Mayor pledges support for stronger and healthier community projects". London City Hall (Press release). 1 July 2016.
  13. ^ "Spacehive". NewCities. 19 April 2017.
  14. ^ Spacehive | The Guardian
  15. ^ "Spacehive". Nesta.

External links[edit]