Youngsters take Year of Young People budget lead in North Ayrshire

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Thousands of pounds of funding has been given out to youth projects in North Ayrshire as part of Scotland’s largest ever online participatory budgeting exercise.

From Friday, February 2, until Friday, February 9, around 7,000 young people, representing almost 50% of those eligible, visited Young Scot’s online voting platform to decide how £50,000 should be allocated to youth groups, organisations and projects across the region.

The exercise formed part of the Council’s ‘Year of Young People’ (YoYP) 2018 programme and attracted funding applications based on one of the six YoYP themes of: culture; education; enterprise and regeneration; equality and discrimination; health and wellbeing; and participation.

Young people aged 8-25 were asked to rate projects in order of preference – with the most popular given a share of the funding. 

And from the 70 projects in the running, 58 were successful in their bid including sports groups, youth groups, school projects, dance groups, parent councils, LGBT initiatives and community events.

North Ayrshire’s Youth Champion, Councillor Shaun Macaulay, said: “We’re delighted that so many young people from all over North Ayrshire got involved in this special PB event.  They turned out in their thousands to decided how £50,000 should be spend on activities and events that celebrate this fantastic year for young people. 

“We are delighted with the huge participation levels, which only goes to show how engaged our young people are here in North Ayrshire.

“We hope it was a fun and rewarding initiative for them all and we look forward to hearing how the money has helped enhance 2018 – the Year of Young People.”

The initiative was delivered in partnership with Young Scot – the national information and citizenship organisation for young people in Scotland.  They provided the online platform which was used by almost 7,000 youngsters to make their decisions.

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, said: “It’s wonderful to see so many young people in North Ayrshire take up the opportunity to decide which youth projects are most important to them.

“North Ayrshire Council has embraced the values of the Year of Young People 2018 and put young people right at the heart of decision making. This has been the biggest participatory budgeting vote ever conducted using the Young Scot e-voting platform and shows how technology can be used to make it easy for young people to get involved in local democracy.”