PROJECTS in Stirling will be able to access extra funding thanks to a pioneering online portal launched today.

Stirling Council has set aside funds on Crowdfund Stirling to enable communities, businesses and social enterprises to boost their campaigns and support local economic growth.

Initiatives on Crowdfund Stirling that meet the criteria can seek matching funding of up to 50 per cent of their target. The maximum grant available is £2,500.

Stirling is one of the first local authorities in Scotland to team up with Crowdfunder – the UK’s leading crowdfunding platform – to offer this exciting opportunity.

Crowdfunding is an alternative means of funding that allows individuals to make their ideas a reality and change the world around them by promoting projects and giving away rewards in return for pledges of money.

Any Stirling based-business, local development trust, constituted group, charity, partnership of various groups or a Stirling branch of a national organisation can apply.

Strathfillan Community Development Trust are one of the first groups to benefit from the scheme.

Having raised £1,000 from their own crowd, they received a matching amount from Crowdfund Stirling to fund the design of their Bike Skills Park in Tyndrum Community Woodlands, which has cost a total of £10,000.

Kelly Clapperton Bates, Development Officer, Strathfillan Community Development Trust said: “We are extremely pleased to achieve this funding from Crowdfund Stirling.

“Our local community has worked very hard to raise the money to design our Bike Skills Park and this shows how enthusiasm and effort can pay off.

“We are very excited to get our Bike Skills Park project off the ground, which will massively benefit the whole community. From young people to local businesses – thank you!”

Councillor Margaret Brisley, Convener of the Finance and Economy Committee said: “This is an innovative and exciting way for groups across Stirling to fund projects which will help boost economic growth and deliver significant benefits to communities.

“We are delighted to be one of the first local authorities in Scotland to introduce this alternative means of funding, which underlines our drive to support businesses and stimulate the local economy.”

Councillor Alison Laurie, Vice-Convener of the Finance and Economy Committee, said: “I welcome the launch of this fantastic initiative which will enable a variety of projects in Stirling to achieve their goals.

“Crowdfunding Stirling will also encourage digital entrepreneurial skills, allow projects to start faster and give them a digital presence with access to a large network of potential supporters.”

Crowdfund Stirling is a grant to help businesses and communities across Stirling develop their ideas and deliver the economic development priorities of the Council.

Examples of types of projects that could receive support include:

• initiatives to increase visitor numbers and spend

• new events that attract visitors from out with the area

• activities that stimulate growth and create new jobs

• activities that attract investment

• activities that increase export levels

The decision to match fund a project will be made by the Council and will involve meeting the criteria above through the Crowdfunder process.

Lynn Blaikie, Head of Innovation Park at Stirling University Innovation Park, said: “Businesses don’t exist in a vacuum, so anything that not only raises capital but increases community awareness and engagement can only be a good thing.

“We look forward to signposting our tenant businesses as well as the student start-ups we support into using the platform to help them meet their business goals.”

For more information on how to apply to Crowdfund Stirling please visit: