Question: A group of local people and I want to do something positive with our community building that is falling apart — the local authority don't have any money to spend on it and neither do we. I fear that if we do nothing, it will become a black hole in our community. What can we do?
Answer: I completely understand your dismay, but there is hope. If you have not done so already, give your group a name and set up a charity organisation. Arrange a meeting with your group and as many of the local people and politicians as possible. Ask everyone to give their opinions about what they would like to see happen with your building. Be sure to record these ideas. Then get an architect who specialises in community work and consultation to turn your ideas into a drawing that people can get behind.
Many crowdsourcing websites have sprung up in response to the lack of public funding. Check out spacehive.com and theglasshouse.org.uk to find help with marketing and funding your proposal. This might not find all the money but once you find half, there is then a chance to find some match funding from other sources.
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Peter Morris is an architect and interior designer and a director of Peter Morris Architects, which specialises in modern, innovative and practical designs (petermorrisarchitects.com).