Launch of £2 million fund to give people a say on how money is spent.

Applications are now open for a new £2 million fund giving communities the opportunity to vote on how money is spent in their area.

The £2 million Community Choices Fund will be targeted at work in deprived areas, and for the first time community groups as well as all public authorities, including local authorities, will be able to apply for funding to organise their own Community Choices budgeting events.

These events give communities the opportunity to make decisions on how and where investment is spent in their area – for example employability initiatives, projects that encourage volunteering, and training for young people.

Local Government and Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said:

“I am delighted to launch our new Community Choices Fund which is a real opportunity for communities to vote on investment, shape services and address the issues that are important in their area.

“The launch of this fund is important because we recognise that every community in Scotland has different needs and challenges. We want to see more decision-making handed to local people – especially in choosing local spending priorities.

“It’s fantastic to see that participatory budgeting is gaining real ground in Scotland with a large number of councils taking the lead to date and helping to organise over 50 events this year. These events have included decisions on housing revenue, roads capital spending, and the procurement of a bus service.

“However we want to make sure we are reaching out to people in their own localities, which is why we are now expanding and opening up opportunities to community organisations and community councils to apply for this funding.

“This Government is clear we want to give communities more control to shape their futures and I look forward to seeing a range of ideas and applications from organisations across Scotland.”

Source: Scottish Government

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