Leith will decide how community cash gets spent

In a continuation of previous PB work, people in Leith will be asked by Leith Neighbourhood Partnership to decide how a pot of more than £22,000 in funding should be spent on projects that benefit the local community.

Now in its sixth year, £eith Decides enables community groups to apply for grants of up to £1,000 each. This year 36 applications have been received, and local people are being invited to vote on which projects they would most like to see receive the money. A marketplace event will take place on Saturday 6 February (1pm - 3pm) in Leith Community Centre, at which members of the public will get the chance to learn about applicants and their projects. 

The event is the start of a two week voting period, where local people can vote by post or in Leith and McDonald Road libraries. Known as ‘participatory budgeting’, anyone aged eight and over who lives, works, studies or volunteers in the Leith area is eligible to have their say on which projects should receive a grant, making real decisions that will help their community.

This year, 30 community groups will showcase 36 projects that are eligible for funding totalling £33,742.18 – with just £22,092 available every vote counts. 

Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment Marco Biagi will be joining community voters at Leith Decides on Saturday. He said:

“In these times of unprecedented political engagement in Scotland, there are many people who want to participate, but don’t get involved in traditional consultations. Events like Leith Decides remove barriers that can often come between people and being involved by linking their views directly and visibly with what actually happens - in this case, how money is given out. It's participation, not just consultation.
“I hope the Leith community will come out in force to have their say on allocating these funds. Whether it’s to youth projects, community gardens or training courses, it'll be the priorities of the community.
“The Scottish Government recognises that giving communities the power and confidence to shape their own futures, means that inequalities can be addressed by the people on the ground who best know the solutions.”

Cllr Chas Booth, Convener of the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership, said,

"Leith Decides is an example of real people power - where people who live, work or study in Leith have the chance to vote on how community grant money should be allocated."

Read the full press release on the City of Edinburgh Council website