More than £3m will be available over the next two years to communities across the Falkirk area as part of the new Community Choices initiative.
The programme, will be used to increase community input into how money is invested in local communities, will be launched on Monday 8 February. Community groups and organisations will have the opportunity to submit a local project idea through an expression of interest – to be submitted by Friday, 5 March.
Groups and organisations can apply to two separate funds: a small grants programme with a maximum of £1500 per proposed project. A minimum of £10,000 will be available to each of Falkirk Council’s nine wards in the first year as part of the Small grants programme.
The Capital funding will make available a total of £3m over two years. Proposed projects for this fund must be for a minimum of £5000 and can be used for building something new, improving an asset and purchasing equipment.
An advisory panel made up of nine community representatives (one from each Council ward), four representatives from the third sector and four representatives from Falkirk Council and the Health and Social Care Partnership will ensure that applications meet the criteria before they are put forward to a public vote.
Project proposers will then submit more detailed applications online. The closing date for final applications is 9th April. The public will then vote on which of the projects should receive public funding. Voting will start from 26 April to 14 May.
Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council said: “Community Choices gives communities across the Falkirk Council area greater power to decide how money is spent in their local areas on projects and initiatives that matter most to them.
“The programme will direct spending in a way that improves the quality of life at a local level and supports communities in their activities.
Interested groups and people don’t need to have any prior experience of project management or financial expertise. However, they will need to commit to the duration of the projects from initial expression of interest to completion. Applicants can discuss their submissions both before and during the process with Falkirk Council staff.