£eith Decides: Applications open this weekend
Community projects in Leith will soon be invited to apply for funding from a pot of more than £22,000 as part of one of the longest running participatory budgeting projects in the UK.
Now in its sixth year, Leith Neighbourhood Partnership's £eith Decides allows groups to apply for grants of up to £1,000 each, to be spent on projects that benefit the local community.
This year's application period is open from 11am Saturday 24 October until 5pm Wednesday 18 November. A Steering Group made up of local people considers all applications to make sure that they meet the criteria.
A special event will take place in February 2016, at which members of the public will get the chance to talk to applicants and learn about their projects. Local people aged eight and over who live, work, study or volunteer in Leith are then invited to vote on which projects they would most like to see receive the money.
The Citadel Arts Group, a charity which works with older people to express their creativity through living memory and drama projects has had repeat success with £eith Decides and is a great example of what the funding can do for community groups. They first approached £eith Decides in 2012 for funding to help four pupils from St Mary’s Primary perform a community play on healthy eating written by one of the their older members.
Liz Hare from Citadel Arts Group said: “We have benefited greatly from £eith Decides, both in terms of the funding and also the networking on the voting days which has created two great projects. We have twice successfully applied to £eith Decides for funding to continue the club and enable the young people to perform at Leith Festival in 2014 and 2015. We are thankful to £eith Decides and the people of Leith, not just for the money but also for the chances to network and grow our group in exciting new directions.”
Potential applicants are invited to an information session at 11am on Saturday 24 October at McDonald Road Library, where advice will be available on eligibility criteria and how to apply.
Maureen Child, Convener of the Communities and Neighbourhoods Committee at the
City of Edinburgh Council, said: "£eith Decides continues to be
exceedingly popular. Twenty five projects received awards in 2015 supporting a
range of activities including English classes, art workshops, purchase of
sports equipment, and the delivery of outdoor activities.
"As it is now in its sixth year, it has been fantastic to see the results from past recipients. All these worthwhile projects that have benefited from the scheme have made a difference to people in the community.
“February’s public event, which will be held as part of the process, will give community groups the opportunity to raise awareness about their work too. Neighbourhood Partnership events like this are valued by people who welcome the opportunity to make decisions about the area in which they live."