Edinburgh could celebrate Queen's Platinum Jubilee with host of activities if plans for special community fund go ahead
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Cash could be used to help pay for street parties to celebrate the occasion or to fund longer-lasting legacies like planting trees.
Tory councillor Jason Rust said he had suggested the move after being approached by Oxgangs Neighbourhood Centre about possible council funding towards holding a Platinum Jubilee celebration during the extended bank holiday from Thursday June 2 to Sunday June 5.
And now Lord Provost Frank Ross has said he plans to recommend using money which the council saved from civic receptions which had to be cancelled because of Covid and channel it into events for communities throughout the city.
Councillor Rust said he envisaged small awards of £250 or £500 which groups could apply for.
He said: "The Queen's 70 years of service is clearly a historic milestone as the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee.
"Her Majesty of course also has very strong links with Edinburgh. I think it would therefore be fitting for non-profit making community and voluntary groups to be eligible to apply for a small amount of support from the city council for activities.
"This could help enable in early June over the Platinum Jubilee weekend, events, street parties, projects or the like to take place or even more lasting legacies such as commemorative tree planting.
"As other authorities are marking this occasion in a similar way, it would be super if our capital city can too for local community benefit and I am certain there would be interest across Edinburgh.
"I am hopeful that the establishment of a small fund can be considered in early course to ensure a short window for processing of any applications and to allow preparation for the celebrations."
The Lord Provost is expected to propose the move at the full council meeting in March.
He said: “Planning for how the Platinum Jubilee will be marked in the Capital has been underway for several months and we’ve been in ongoing discussions about appropriate ways the communities can get involved.
“Due to ongoing Covid restrictions we have unspent civic funds and what better way to use these funds than civic events in our communities. It is my intention to bring a report to elected members in March recommending reallocating this money to support small grants to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee.”
Scottish Borders have already established a similar fund and invited non-profit making community and voluntary groups, along with schools and churches in their area to apply for grant funding for projects or activities which are for the benefit of the wider community.
The Borders’ Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Fund was launched in January and says grants are expected to average as much as £1,000 but could be up to £2,500 for larger projects.
It says the money could typically be used for concerts, open days or street parties or to create a lasting legacy by improving public spaces like play parks or gardens, or by planting commemorative trees.