In the last six months almost 150 different groups have benefited
27 community groups and organisations are celebrating after landing fresh funding to help support their work. Around 126 people turned out to take part in the 'Ayr South & Coylton Decides' event, which is part of a new way of encouraging people to get actively involved in local decision making known as 'Participatory Budgeting'.
A fund of up to £24,000 was available at the event, with community groups pitching to an audience of local people about their proposal and how it will benefit community groups from Alloway and Doonfoot, Ayr South Harbour and Town Centre, Belmont, Castlehill & Kincaidston, Holmston & Forehill, and Coylton.
Anyone over the age of 12 could vote. After all the pitches were heard, the audience voted to fully fund 26 of the groups up to £1,000, with the 27th group being partly funded. Three additional groups are being supported to find alternative funding.
Among the projects to benefit*: Act Out! Coylton will deliver a 10 week project for people aged 6-16 to perform a show at the 2017 Coylton Gala; the outdoor area of Alloway Primary School will be restored following an act of vandalism; Brush Strokes will work with older members with failing sight in an arts project; while a new defibrillator will help save lives in Ayr through the work of Forehill, Holmston & Masonhill Community Council.
The money was made available from the South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, the Scottish Government, Big Lottery Scotland and South Ayrshire Council.
Councillor Rita Miller, Chair of the South Ayrshire Health and Social Partnership's Integration Joint Board and South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Health and Social Care, said the new events were proving to be a big success, "Every single one of the groups involved are passionate about putting something back into their communities and I'd like to thank all of them for taking the time to get involved.
"By giving people the power to prioritise the projects that they want to see developed the new participatory budget approach is already helping to make a real difference across South Ayrshire.
"In the last six months almost 150 different groups have benefitted from funding of around £94,000 secured through community backing, while the evens have also helped to grow local networks which could help to shape joint projects in future."
*A full list of the projects can be found here.