Crowd-funding builds town's community centre

The ex-mining town of Glyncoch, South Wales, is the unlikely benefactor of a "crowd-funding" movement that harnesses private funding for community building projects. After spending seven years chasing state cash for a £792,000 community centre, residents used a new crowd-funding website to raise the money.

With tens of thousands still to raise before their public grants expired, the town appealed to local families, celebrities and businesses to fill the void. Using as a hub for donations, the town gathered support from a wide array of places.

The site allows anyone with an idea to pitch it online and, once it's been certified by Spacehive, if it achieves the necessary funding, it can be built. Glyncoch was the first time such a large project had turned to the scheme. Tesco, Asda, Deloitte and the Wales and West Utilities all added to the pot. Residents dug deep, raising thousands through street collections, bingo nights and sponsored events. Pledges came from as far afield as Newfoundland.

"Enabling the public to take direct action could help vital improvements go ahead by channelling funding from companies and individuals," said Liz Peace, British Property Federation head.