As one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Scottish Governments Community Choices Fund the North Carrick Community Benefits Company (NCCBC) set it's sights on going big and offering community groups the kind of big money that will lead to transformational change. They asked community groups from Maybole and the surrounding villages for their ideas to spend up to £20,000 to develop projects which would benefit their community and make a significant difference. Twelve projects got through to the voting event on Saturday 4 March 2017. This is the largest allocation of funding to community groups so far in Scotland’s PB journey. By the end of the day £80,000 was allocated to 4 projects which it is hoped will make a real difference to the villages of North Carrick. Each group recieved around £20,000. One Hundred and forty four excited adult and children turned up to vote on the day.
One of the projects pitching was the Cairn Parents Council who wanted to develop a ‘Fresh Air Fitness’ outdoor gym which would encourage parents and children to get fit and bring the community together. Maybole Pipe Band were making their pitch for new uniforms which will cost up to £19,500 to kit out all the old and new members of the popular band. The band spends a lot of their time playing at events, gala days and weddings in North Carrick and other areas of Scotland and are well known and respected in the villages. Speaking about the event Andy Fullarton said 'Today's process is quite encouraging, it's something that we've never been involved with before. The process seems quite simple, you get to listen to the pitch and everybody votes 1-5.'
Glenrose Primary School and Early Years were pitching on the day for the development of a Community Playground where young people could access the school playground at the weekends and summer holidays to use newly purchased play equipment in a safe environment. Speaking about the process Shelby Cannon said, 'we had an easy voting system and we got to vote 1 through to 5 and I thought that was really fair....You are not just voting for the one you like and that's it.'
In an innovative approach to voting North Carrick used voting hand sets which delivered the results quickly and retains anonymous data about what people from different villages (and age groups) voted for. Just as importantly the handsets were a really fun way to get young and old excited about voting on the day.
North Carrick allowed young people aged 8 upwards to vote in the process which will undoubtedly bring these future adults into the democratic process and encourage them to understand that in a caring community their voice counts.
The 4 projects which received most votes and up to £20k funding were:
1. Carrick Sensory - A new project
2. Maybole Pipe Band - New uniforms
3. Food for Thought - Community Kitchen - Minishant Primary School
4. Glebe Pavillion Development - North Carrick Community Sports Hub
A remaining small sum of money was allocated to Rowing & Kayaking Club - Dunure Community Council and Harbour Committee which was 5th most popular in the vote.