More than 160 people turned out to take part
36 community groups are celebrating after landing fresh funding to help support their work. More than 160 people turned out at the Troon Walker Hall on Saturday 25 February to take part in the 'Troon Decides' event, which encourages people to get actively involved in local decision making.
32 groups were fully funded from the available pot of £38,000, with £19,000 made available by The R&A's legacy funding from proceeds of The 145th Open, staged at Royal Troon in 2016. The R&A also independently fully funded the four groups who missed out through the vote, by providing an additional £5,500.
The event was part of a new way to encourage people to get actively involved in local decision making known as 'Participatory Budgeting'. South Ayrshire Council and the Troon Locality Planning Group invited people, aged 12+, from Troon, Muirhead, Barassie, Loans and Dundonald to get involved and register to vote.
Community groups pitched to an audience of local people about their proposal with the audience, then voting to decide which groups received funding. Groups were funded up to £3,000 for use in local projects, four times the amount at the last event in June 2016.
Among the successful projects: A 'Bluebell Picnic' at Dundonald Castle to promote history and archaeology; a woodland trail for Friends of Fullarton; a summer camp for Marr Sports Group; a community defibrillator for Troon; and support for the Food Train project to help with shopping for older people with mobility issues.
Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said the event had been a great success, "The popularity of the Troon Decides event has gone from strength-to strength, with our high profile partnership with The R&A helping to generate even more interest in community funding.
"The main aim of our participatory budgeting sessions is to engage with local people, invite groups to come along and make their case, and for the public to actively vote on which ones they feel should be funded.
"It's an approach which has really struck a chord and I'd like to wish every group involved the greatest of success as they look to continue to make a difference to lives in South Ayrshire."
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said, "We congratulate the community groups who were selected to receive funding and wish them every success with their local projects.
"Through our GreenLinks initiative we are committed to running The Open in as sustainable a fashion as possible and to leaving a lasting legacy in the local communities in which the Championship is staged.
A full list of the successful projects can be found here.