From this weekend, people in the wider Leith area will be asked to decide how more than £44,000 of City of Edinburgh Council funding should be spent on projects that benefit their local community.
For the first time voters will be able to cast their vote online from Saturday October 8 until Saturday 22 October 2016.
Now in its seventh year, Leith Neighbourhood Partnership’s “£eith Decides” allows community groups to apply for grants of up to £1,000 or £3,000. Groups may make two applications for different projects. This year 62 applications have been received, and local people are being invited to vote on which projects they would most like to see receive the money.
To open the voting, a special Leith Decides marketplace event will take place on Saturday October 8 in Leith Community Education Centre, at which members of the public will get the chance to learn about applicants and their projects.
The event is the start of the two week voting period, and those not able to make it along to the event can still take part by voting online or in Leith and McDonald Road libraries.
Voting will be open online at https://edinburgh.participare.io/#/ from 12.30pm on Saturday October 8 until 5pm on Saturday October 22. All the projects will be displayed online and voters can register and submit their vote in a few easy steps.
Known as ‘participatory budgeting’, anyone aged eight and over who lives, works, studies or volunteers in the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership area is eligible to have their say on which projects should receive a grant, making real decisions that will help their community.
Leith Neighbourhood Partnership has allocated all of their Community Grants Fund (£44,184) to Leith Decides this year. Voting will be on two tiers of funding - £8,000 is allocated to bids of up to £1,000, and £36,184 is allocated to bids of up to £3,000.
This year, 44 community groups will showcase 55 projects that are eligible for funding totalling £113,723 – with just £44,184 available.
Councillor Maureen Child, Convener of the Communities and Neighbourhoods Committee at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “This is the first year that the Neighbourhood Partnership has allocated 100% of its grants funding to Leith Decides. By splitting the funding pot into two tiers, this will allow a better chance for the applicants to be successful.
“Leith Decides continues to be extremely popular. It’s fantastic that so many worthwhile projects, all of which have made a difference to people, are given help in this way. The event on Saturday is a brilliant showcase for community groups and the work they do. I would encourage local people to come along and see what kinds of activities are happening on their doorstep.
“This is a very exciting time for Leith Decides –we are delighted to be launching e-voting and I hope that everyone gets involved.”