Communities to have their say on investment

Communities to have their say on investment

Community groups in four communities across East Renfrewshire will have a chance to bid for a share of £90,000.

A total of £22,500 each has been allocated to Auchenback, Barrhead, Neilston and Thornliebank – as these areas have been identified as part of the council’s approach to tackling inequality in the most disadvantaged areas of East Renfrewshire.

Community groups, voluntary groups and non-profit organisations can submit their ideas and apply for a grant of £250-£2,000 from this fund. Local residents then have the opportunity to cast a vote for their favourite projects at voting events where groups will showcase and present their ideas.

Now in its third year, this successful method of community decision making, known as Participatory Budgeting (PB), is a key part of the council’s commitment to the Community Empowerment Act, which shines a light on the amazing work of local volunteers and helps energise local people to bring communities together.

Funding ideas for new or existing projects should benefit the communities and address one or more of the six key community priorities that were highlighted by local residents. These priorities are community safety/feeling safe, community activity/health and wellbeing, environment, employability/financial inclusion/learning opportunities, older people, children and young people.

Projects must show community involvement, either in the planning or delivery, with special consideration given to applications which address inequalities. The process is overseen by Linking Communities, an umbrella group made up of representatives from Barrhead, Neilston and Thornliebank.

Councillor Colm Merrick, Convener for Community Services and Community Safety, said: “Participatory Budgeting events have been a great success in previous years, so I am pleased our local residents have the opportunity again this year to decide how this money will be spent across these four areas. The investment will make a huge impact to these communities, so I would encourage all groups with an idea – no matter how big or small – to apply for funding, as it could be your idea which will greatly benefit the local area. I hope all of our residents living in Auchenback, Barrhead, Neilston and Thornliebank who are able to attend the community voting events in March will come along, vote and have their say about the local issues which are most important to them.”

Oonagh McKinnon, Chair of Linking Communities, said: “We are delighted that East Renfrewshire Council has continued to fund the grant making process within these areas. As an organisation we have seen first-hand the difference even small amounts of money can make to fantastic projects working to make real change in our communities. Linking Communities is happy to facilitate this process and looks forward to working closely with the council.”

Applications for funding are now open and close on Monday 10 February 2020 at 5pm. The application pack can be found online by accessing the following link: http://bit.do/LC2020Application

Community voting events will be held across the area to allow groups to present their ideas and allow residents to vote on which projects will receive funding:

• Barrhead and Auchenback: Saturday 14 March 2020 from 10am-2pm at Barrhead Foundry with voting open from 11am-1pm
• Neilston: Saturday 28 March 2020 from 10am-2pm at Glen Halls with voting open from 11am-1pm
• Thornliebank: Saturday 21 March 2020 from 10am-2pm at Thorntree Hall with voting open from 11am-1pm.

Last Updated: 13 January 2020 16:22

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