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Nearly 30 local groups, organisations and clubs have come up with ideas to improve their local area. Now they need your vote to help make them a reality.

From buying sporting equipment to creating a pantry garden and helping the elderly share memories, all 26 ideas shortlisted for support through Community Choices Small Grants Programme have merit.

Now everyone who lives in the Falkirk Council area who is of high school age and above has until 17 December to vote for the projects they want to see happen.

Eligible residents have 3 votes they can use in support of projects looking for funding through the Small Grants Programme. Voters can use all 3, vote twice or even just the once – it's totally up to them.

The only rule is, people must vote for projects based in the ward that they live – and checking which ward you live in is easy, simply visit the Council’s website.

Successful Small Grants bids will be published on the Council’s website in January.

People power

Community Choices is Falkirk Council and Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership’s participatory budgeting programme.

The initiative aims to provide people with a way to apply for public funding to improve their local area and vote to decide how public money is spent so that investment is made in projects that reflect the strengths, needs and aspirations of their local community.

Earlier this month (November) the second round of Community Choices was launched, with those hoping to secure up to £5k of funding through the Small Grants Programme submitting their ideas by 19 November.

Ideas that met the scheme’s criteria of making the local area 'fairer, healthier, more connected and more inclusive’ are now out to the public vote.

To cast your votes visit www.falkirk.gov.uk/ccvote. You can also request a paper ballot by emailing community.choices@falkirk.gov.uk or by calling 07483919744.

Bigger ideas

If you have an idea that will benefit your community but need more than £5000 to make it happen, there’s still time to apply for a place-based capital grant through Community Choices.

Applications are open until 7 January 2022.