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TownFunder – alternative, attainable funding event

By • Nov 28th, 2012 • Category: Events, Insight December 2012, Insight January 2013, News

Alternative, Attainable Funding for Town Improvement Projects

5th March 2013, Central Birmingham

Sponsored by Unity Trust Bank

‘Top down’, large Government funding programmes for town and neighbourhood improvement schemes are in short supply. Those that do exist have been hugely oversubscribed. Towns can commit enormous amounts of time to writing funding bids with no certainty of the result.

But a new breed of alternative financing is emerging. Crowdfunding, community share issues, community development finance and alternative, ethical financial institutions can all be used to fund and finance towns’ plans for improvement. Many towns have successfully used these kind of schemes already. Can your town or neighbourhood benefit?

TownFunder is brought to you by Action for Market Towns, a national charity and membership organisation supporting several hundred towns (and some cities) across the UK.

Building on our expertise and long experience of how to make town improvement projects that work, TownFunder will help you to understand:

  • the new funding landscape and how it can benefit you
  • how to structure a Community Share Issue
  • whether Crowdfunding is for you – and if so how to choose a platform, write an offer, and market it to your community
  • what community development finance can offer towns and neighbourhoods
  • how to approach ‘ethical lenders’ who can support your community asset transfer or help to finance your community enterprises
  • generating revenue through ideas like a town lottery

This packed one-day national event comes at a critical time for towns and cities. With central government funding both harder and more competitive to secure than ever, but a huge appetite for schemes to develop places and localities, towns, cities and neighbourhoods need to understand how new and alternative funding methods can work for them.

And as an added bonus, all delegates have the opportunity to submit their own town improvement project for potential funding. 5 projects will be selected and will present their idea at TownFunder. Delegates will choose one winner which will receive £500 to fund their project.

Venue – city centre, Birmingham

BVSC, The Centre for Voluntary Action, 138 Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 6DR.

Close to Birmingham New Street and Moor Street stations, BVSC offers excellent modern, comfortable facilities. Location map and directions are here.

The programme

Speakers and workshop presenters include Ben Hughes, CEO of the Community Development Finance Association; Andrew Teacher, Director of PR & Communication of crowdfunding platform (and Big Venture Challenge winner) Spacehive; Simon Borkin from the Community Shares Unit; technology expert Barry James; a speaker from Unity Trust Bank on investment readiness for capital projects; Barbara Cooper of Community Energy Warwickshire; and Richard Dixon of Sterling Lotteries.

The programme includes 8 practical, participatory workshops and will also feature real life example towns that have secured funding from all of the methods we cover – delegates will return to their towns armed with knowledge of how to secure the finance they need!

We’ve assembled a fantastic array of ‘thinking and doing’ speakers and workshop leaders – read more about them here.

You can view the programme and workshops in full here or download the programme as a pdf here.

Who should attend TownFunder?

  • Town teams and town partnerships
  • Town and parish councils
  • Town trusts
  • Chambers of Trade and of Commerce
  • Business organisations
  • Town centre managers
  • Local authority officers
  • Fundraisers
  • Community enterprises
  • Development trusts
  • Social entrepreneurs
  • Community energy schemes
  • Crowdfunders
  • Community finance providers
  • Advisors and consultants
  • Academics, researchers and policymakers

Like most AMT events we expect TownFunder to be oversubscribed.

Book your place here

If you would like more information, please contact Jamie Veitch on 07904 272 200 or email


We are very grateful to Unity Trust Bank for their sponsorship of TownFunder.

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is Jamie is Towns Alive's Communications and External Affairs Manager and works for Towns Alive for 1 day per week looking after press, external affairs, website content, social media, marketing, some events and some membership support. A freelance consultant to charities, social enterprises and small businesses, Jamie co-founded and was managing director of the respected 'New Start magazine' (now owned by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies) and has worked in a PLC. Jamie lives in Sheffield, is an active rock climber and mountain biker, and is a volunteer board member for a local social enterprise.
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