Residents of Bo’ness and Blackness, Grangemouth and Maddiston are set to benefit from a new fund that will boost their local communities.

The Council through the Community Changes Fund has allocated up to £40k, £27k and £11k respectively to projects in the three locations with the aim of improving these areas.

The scheme will accept applications from this week (February 6). Shortlisted applicants will then have a chance to pitch their project idea on ‘Decision Day’ when the eventual winners will be announced. The funding recipients will be decided by local residents within each area casting a vote for their favourite project.

A series of drop-in information sessions for prospective applicants are scheduled in the three community areas during February and March, as follows:

  • Maddiston Community Centre Wednesday 8 February 11am-2pm and Wednesday 15 February 2pm-5pm – closing date for applications Friday 24 February.
  • Advice and Support Hub (Grangemouth) Thursday 16 February 11am-2pm and Thursday 23 February 2pm-5pm - closing date for applications Thursday 2 March.
  • Bo’ness Library on Wednesday 22 February (11am - 2pm) and Thursday 2 March (2pm - 5pm) – closing date for applications Thursday 9 March.

A ‘Decision Day’ voting event will take place in each location with the community deciding what is funded. Local people will have an opportunity to learn about how each of the proposed projects and initiatives aim to improve people’s quality of life in that community. Refreshments will be served and community activities will take place.

For further details on the ‘Decision Day’ events will be posted on the Falkirk Council website. You can also keep up to date by following Falkirk Council on Twitter @falkirkcouncil.

While applicants may bid for the amount they need for their project, funding is limited so whatever is awarded reduces the amount for other projects. Any funding not used will be returned for redistribution to other local projects.

Councillor Craig Martin, Leader of Falkirk Council said: “We’re encouraging the three communities involved in the Fund to get right behind all of the projects as and when they are revealed.

“We’re looking for community leaders to spread the word and urge local groups to think about how their area could improve and what projects, initiatives this fund could support that would have a lasting benefit.

“At the end of the process we’ll host Decision Day events where everyone can come along and enjoy hearing what the various proposals are – communities will have the final and direct say on what their community will really benefit from.”

A number of conditions must be met including:

  • Projects must be stand alone and not require on-going running costs.
  • Applicants must complete a brief application form detailing their project and how their community would benefit.

Applications are open to community groups, charities, social enterprises, public bodies but not individuals, private companies, political organisations or for religious activities.

Work in local communities has begun to identify where funding might be targeted. Young Scot is also working with secondary schools in each area to enable young people aged between 11-18 in each community area to vote for their favourite project via the YoungScot website. If you are aged between 19-25 and have a Young Scot card you can also vote via the Young Scot website.

For more information and an application form visit the webpage or contact the organisers by email . Alternatively, you can phone 01324 506260 or 01324 501573.