Portsmouth businesses and groups could be set to benefit from new crowdfunding platform

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CHARITIES, businesses and groups that ‘benefit the community’ could be set for a boost in funds as the council is looking to invest in the city’s own crowdfunding system.

Members of the public will be able to pledge cash to worthy causes in the area, with Portsmouth City Council topping up an additional 10 per cent, if plans are approved.

Cash could be raised for groups in Portsmouth via a new crowdfunding platform

Cash could be raised for groups in Portsmouth via a new crowdfunding platform

Small and medium-sized organisations would have to apply to the council for crowdfunding status before going on to set a target.

The city council’s deputy leader, Councillor Steve Pitt, said: ‘The important thing is it’s about supporting small to medium sized businesses and groups that will benefit the community in some way, and helping them to grow.

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‘In a world of diminished council resources it’s about looking to make the most of the resources we have.

‘Because of the nature of the city and the fact that the community is very good at coming together I believe it should be the council’s role to be a part of that.’

Recently Portsmouth’s first ever package-free supermarket – the Package Free Larder – announced it could open due to donations received from a crowdfunding campaign.

The council will consider which crowdfunding platform to use and a budget of £30,000 has been earmarked for a three-year subscription. An additional £40,000 has already been found as part of the council’s ‘top up’ fund.

Marketing officer for Portsmouth Pride, Matthew Hill, agreed people would rally behind the idea. ‘Everyone pulls together,’ he said.

‘Portsmouth is such a nice city for the community, everyone is willing to help out where they can.

‘At Portsmouth Pride we really rely on our sponsors for us to put on the event, which we want to keep free for people. But I do think any sort of crowdfunding will help for a lot of groups and events.’

Plymouth City Council was the first UK authority to trial a crowdfunding scheme. Since 2015 it has pledged more than £250,000 to 60 projects, which have raised a total of £1.5m.

If the crowdfunding scheme is approved at a council meeting on Friday, October 4 it is likely to be set up within a few months.