Leith will decide how community cash gets spent

From this weekend, people in Leith will be asked by Leith Neighbourhood Partnership to decide how a pot of more than £22,000 in funding should be spent on projects that benefit the local community.

Now in its sixth year, £eith Decides allows community groups to apply for grants of up to £1,000 each. This year 36 applications have been received, and local people are being invited to vote on which projects they would most like to see receive the money. A marketplace event will take place on Saturday 6 February (1pm - 3pm) in Leith Community Centre, at which members of the public will get the chance to learn about applicants and their projects. 

The event is the start of a two week voting period, where local people can vote by post or in Leith and McDonald Road libraries. Known as ‘participatory budgeting’, anyone aged eight and over who lives, works, studies or volunteers in the Leith area is eligible to have their say on which projects should receive a grant, making real decisions that will help their community.

This year, 30 community groups will showcase 36 projects that are eligible for funding totalling £33,742.18 – with just £22,092 available every vote counts. 

Last year 1,625 people took part in deciding which local community projects should be awarded funding. Previous successful applicants include Prospect Bank School Parents' Association for an outdoor climbing frame, the Goosander Resident's Association for a living garden, the Citadel Youth Centre for a young mums’ parenting course, and the North Edinburgh Dementia Care group, which ran podiatry sessions for older clients.

This year's applicants are looking for funding to cover a range of activities from Gala days and summer camps to creating plays and activity classes with an intergenerational aspect. 

Councillor Maureen Child, Convener of the Communities and Neighbourhoods Committee at the City of Edinburgh Council, said:

"£eith Decides has proven to be extremely popular, and many new applicants came forward last year. It was fantastic that so many worthwhile projects, all of which have made a difference to people, were given help in this way. 

"The public event held as part of the process gave 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."

For up-to-date information about £eith Decides please visit its Facebook page -www.facebook.com/voteforleithdecides and the £eith decides page at www.edinburghnp.org.uk/leith.

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