High streets that snap, crackle and pop!

Every week we’re told how the internet is killing off town centres, how the web is suffocating shops and how locals are fleeing our retail hubs for soulless out of town monoliths.

But town centres have started getting rather web savvy. In the last few weeks Spacehive has seen high street brightening project ideas popping up from Edinburgh to Ealing. Over in Mansfield they’re even crowdfunding a free WiFi network for the town.

Until 1995, Mansfield was the largest UK town not to have a train station. But now the Nottinghamshire centre is embracing the web to attract more visitors; letting them surf while they shop and grab a bite to eat.

The town received a £10,000 grant as part of the Portas Pilots and is using Spacehive to make it go further. It’s a great example of how crowdfunding can help communities get more bang out of limited government bucks.

Check out the BBC’s piece on Mansfield’s campaign, and this excitable coverage from the tech community.

But Mansfield is just the beginning. We reckon crowdfunding has real potential to breathe life back into our high streets. To make it happen we’re partnering with Mary Portas’ Town Teams, a host of Business Improvement Districts, and innovative regeneration agenices like Meanwhile Space.

Already some sparky ideas are emerging. We’ve got an old phone box transformed into a gallery in Edinburgh, an empty shop converted into a buzzing hub for young entrepreneurs, and a free town centre music festival to pull in the crowds.

Got a high street boosting project idea of your own? Click here to whizz it onto Spacehive in a flash.

By |2019-01-02T16:00:16+00:00November 15th, 2012|High Streets|

About the Author:

Chris is the Founder and CEO of Spacehive, the world’s first crowdfunding platform for civic projects. He is a former Sunday Times staff journalist who covered architecture and planning, as well as leading the paper’s London coverage. He launched Spacehive in 2012 as a social business to stimulate new sources funding and creativity for the civic environment. Since then the platform has helped to deliver a diverse mix of projects across the UK - from a new community centre in Wales to a giant waterslide in the middle of a Bristol high street. He has won awards for Spacehive from the Big Venture Challenge, Nesta, UnLtd, Deloitte and Downing Street.