We held a voting event for our first ever fund on Sunday 8th March – using a participatory budgeting model to allow people with an M19 postcode to vote on how it should be spent to improve the high street in Levenshulme or help residents start their own retail businesses.
The maths gods were obviously looking down on us and we when all the votes were counted and verified and the calculations done we were actually able to provide full funding to eight out of our ten short listed projects. We were also able to partially fund one more project and – because one project had to withdraw before the night – that meant that everyone who presented on the night was able to go home with some cash!
Please see below the summaries of the projects funded now with links to updates on the projects six months on.
Byrne the Cake Brewery – Bidding for: £610.56 – FULLY FUNDED
David Foulger is a Levenshulme resident who has been perfecting his brewing in his home environment for six months and is now approaching the stage where he is ready to start trading on the market, thus launching Levenshulme’s own artisan brewery and helping gain more attention for Levenshulme’s independent traders and producers. David will use the money, if awarded, to buy equipment that will allow him to brew on a larger scale with a shorter time scale and less chance of spoilage. SIX MONTH UPDATE HERE.
Decourcey Designs – Bidding for: £760.00 – FULLY FUNDED
Sharlene Decourcey is fourth generation Levenshulme and started her business trading in the Antiques Village a year ago. She would like to develop her skills, expand into market trading and build her business by undertaking further training in upholstery, buying tools for her work and producing branded clothes, banners and business cards. SIX MONTH UPDATE HERE.
Indulge Dessert Café – Expansion – Bidding for: £5000.00 – PARTIALLY FUNDED FOR £1400.00
Indulge is the only dessert cafe within the Levenshulme stretch of Stockport Road and they are keen to build their business by expanding their product range (to include pancakes, frozen yoghurt, slushies and professional coffees), increase their profile and visibility and make physical improvements to the shop. The funds they are applying for would be used to repaint the shop shutters and improve the signage, change the layout to improve service and maximise customer seating during busy periods, add customer toilet facilities, deliver a leaflet campaign in the area and purchase machines for making coffee, pancakes and frozen yoghurt.
Levenshulme Contemporary Art Centre – LCAC Shop – Bidding for: £2210.00 – FULLY FUNDED
The LCAC Shop will be a temporary, non-profit making hub of radical thinking for the Levenshulme community. It will open for two weeks during the Manchester International Festival (2nd-19th July 2015), with the aim of helping to seed the development of a future independent fringe festival. The Shop will function as an open social space, the aim of which is to create the possibility of imagining a new locality. It will serve coffee, sell radical texts and work/prints by local artists, and host free public talks, including connecting participants with other radically-minded individuals across the world via video-conferencing. It will be open to the public at varied times, including late nights for post-work discussions. The group are bidding for funds to run the shop, including rental and fittings, marketing and promotion of the space and paying/reimbursing visiting speakers and artists. SIX MONTH UPDATE HERE.
Lily and Daisy Flower Company – Bidding for: £890.00 – FULLY FUNDED
The Lily and Daisy Flower Company will be based in Levenshulme as a market stall and local delivery service, operating by bike and selling only flowers sourced locally in season and from indoor growing operations in England and the Netherlands at other times, with the aim of being carbon neutral within two years of starting business. Melvyn Newton, who runs the Lily and Daisy Flower Company is bidding for funds for a bike trailer, a street trading licence, insurance and branding. UPDATE: As of December 2015 it was determined that this project was not feasible to proceed as plans and the applicant has returned the funds to Levenshulme Market CIC. In keeping with the aims of promoting sustainable transport of the original project this funding amount has now been donated to the Friends of Levenshulme Station.
Love Levenshulme – www.lovelevenshulme.org – Bidding for: £5000.00 – FULLY FUNDED
Love Levenshulme is a digital and high street community asset. It was first created as an online map in 2014 and resident Pauline Johnson is seeking funds to develop it as a resource that will support local businesses, improve our trading environment, expand as a “live learning facility” and promote Levenshulme as a visitor destination. It’s a consumer facing, trader focused online resource and high street brand. The funds, if allocated, will be used to develop the site itself, to support engagement activity with traders and to launch a pop-up high street “hub” for the site, allowing business owners, residents and visitors to make their own contribution to its workings. SIX MONTH UPDATE HERE.
Samosa Shack – Bidding for: £1000.00 – FULLY FUNDED
Samosa Shack is the brain child of Levenshulme resident Kamini Patel, who would like to develop an artisan food stall where she can sell Gujarati cuisine – particularly samosas, which will be made to order while customers wait. She has applied for the fund to cover the costs of buying the equipment associated with setting up an outdoor hot food business as well as branding and design work to make her stall attractive to customers. SIX MONTH UPDATE HERE.
Thairish Café – Facelift – Bidding for: £2370.00 – FULLY FUNDED
Levenshulme institution Thairish Café (previously Isis) are applying for funds to make their business an even more desirable destination on the high street and the interior will be a more welcoming and cleaner environment for customers. They would use the money, if awarded, to update the front of the cafe by cleaning and painting the outside area – meaning they will be more attractive to customers, particularly those coming to and from the market. They would also like to refurbish their customer toilet, making it a safer and cleaner environment, and to resurface the floor of the café. SIX MONTH UPDATE HERE.
Woolly Mammoth is brings together locally sourced UK wool and vegetarian food with a focus on promoting positive mental health and well being. The social enterprise, run by Levenshulme resident Charlotte Dillon and business partner Rachel Hall, will launch with a series of pop-up events at Levenshulme Market, with a view to eventually move to a shop space in Levenshulme. They will use the funds, if awarded, to cover the costs of buying equipment to cook their food, starter stock and branding. SIX MONTH UPDATE HERE.