How is PB done? 

PB comes in all shapes and sizes, but basically it looks like this:


1. Ideas are generated about a budget shout be spent.
2. People vote for their priorities.
3. The projects with the most votes get funded. 


Mostly, participatory budgeting is about bringing people together at local events. Sometimes it also happens online, where digital tools can help even more people to get involved.

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Introducing small grants and mainstream PB...

Small Grants

Small grants PB sees a set pot of money dispersed by people voting on what projects or ideas should be funded. Up until now, most PB in Scotland has been using the small grants model. This means that a funder has provided a certain amount of money to be dispersed through a PB process.

More than 40,000 votes were cast in 2016/17 as part of the Community Choices voting events, which used the small grants model. 

More info....

Mainstream PB

Mainstream PB uses voting to decide on much larger, public body budgets – budgets usually decided on by local authorities, for example. Mainstream PB has the potential to be much more transformative as, if done well, means local people can vote for things that are important to them. This means better decisions that can meet the needs of local people.

While Mainstream PB is still developing in Scotland we have launched 'Moving Toward the Mainstream' A new film about the next steps for participatory budgeting in Scotland.

Mainstream PB is developing quickly in Scotland, with local councils and the Scottish Government agreeing to have 1% decided through participatory budgeting by the end of 2021.