The power of the penny: using crowdfunding to create civic projects

Thursday 5th March, 2015 | 8am-9.30am

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Tottenham Street

Crowdfunding dominates financial headlines as the innovative model through which new and established entrepreneurs can raise capital.

But as budgets shrink, it’s a way to raise awareness and money for civic projects such as The Flyover project in Liverpool, Ancoats Dispensary in Manchester and the Thames Baths in London. is the world’s first crowd funding platform for civic projects and since March 2012 it’s funded a total of 61 civic projects worth £1.8 million.

Margaret Cooney, COO of Spacehive  explains the different crowd based models; why crowdfunding is a cultural and business shift; how it can help communities; what makes a popular project online, partnering with government and business, and the potential for Spacehive and similar platforms in the future.

Architect Chris Romer-Lee of Studio Octopi talk sabout the Thames Baths Project, a £10m open-air swimming pool in the Thames off Victoria Embankment, and the online fund raising campaign to get the project in for planning.

Initial designs for the Thames Baths feature a 25-metre by 10-metre main pool, filtration system and poolside decking.






Margaret Cooney is COO of, an award winning social business specialising in civic realm projects, and the first civic crowdfunding platform in the world.
Until 2012 she was a Deputy Director responsible for England at the UK's largest good cause Lottery Distributor.
Her particular area of interest is programmes that tackle social inequalities, invest in skills, community enterprise and talent at local level. While at the Lottery, she created Local Trust, a £200m neighbourhood trust initiative which provides social investment and support to disadvantaged neighbourhoods in England. Prior to that, she was Director for the pioneering Fair Share Trust.
She is also an adviser to the Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust and has supported residents to raise finance for their 'homesteading project and Heritage Enterprise bid.
She has been a trustee and advisor to numerous arts organisations and charities and is an editorial board adviser to