Friday, December 16, 2011

Camden’s creativity unlocked

A new Making Things Happen Lab will be created in Camden to help budding young entrepreneurs who are not in work or training realise their ambitions.

The Lab is one of eight new projects which have been successful in securing investment through Camden Council’s groundbreaking Innovation Fund, it was announced this week.

Through the fund the Council has committed to investing in the best new solutions to Camden’s social problems. Residents, community groups and voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations were invited to share their ideas – no matter how big or small - on how best to address socially ingrained problems in Camden such as unemployment, food poverty, anti social behaviour.

The Council is now working with the eight organisations to develop their proposals for the second stage of the fund so that the ideas that will make the most impact will be invested in from February 2012.

The fund – which will invest a total of £500,000 a year in innovative ideas over three years – was created to tap into the creativity and innovation residing in the borough and to find new ways to tackle local issues.

Councillor Sarah Hayward, Camden Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Regeneration and Equalities, said:

“We took a risk and set up the Innovation Fund because the massive financial challenges we face mean we need to find new ways to deliver services and new solutions to existing problems. The threat to public services from both government cuts and government reform is massive. If we are to preserve services that support people through their lives then we have to look for new ways to deliver them and solve problems. That’s why the Innovation and Development Fund was set up, and we’ve found some great ideas to try out.”

Applications are now open for the second round of the Innovation Fund for anyone who has additional good ideas. Expressions or interest can be sent to until 27 April 2012.

Camden Council took a new approach to how it funds the voluntary and community sector following large scale government cuts, which saw the Council needing to cut almost £100 million from its budget.

For more information contact Lynn MacDonald, senior communications officer for Camden Council, on 020 7974 5238 or

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