What is PB?

Participatory budgeting (PB) enables local people to decide on the issues that matter to them.Helping them to understand public spending, put forward their own ideas and vote on them. 

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PB is recognised internationally as a way for local people to have a direct say in how, and where, public funds can be used to address local needs.PB empowers citizens, builds trust in democracy and can improve the way public money is spent.

Participatory Budgeting: An Introduction

This guide to PB has been written by leading experts on PB in the UK. Funded by donations from consultancy work done by PB partners, it covers all the basic information you need to know to understand how PB contributes towards the democratic community engagement work of local authorities and public bodies. 


‘If it feels like we have decided, it’s PB. If it feels like someone else has decided, it isn’t.’

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Churches are getting involved in PB to empower local communities by giving ordinary people a voice in how government funds are spent in their communities.

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PB in Scotland

It’s important to note that PB is not new in Scotland. As it’s common practice to locally brand a PB process (such as community grant decision making e.g. LeithDecides in Edinburgh), you may be unaware that PB processes have been running in your local area. Many local authorities have run PB processes in recent years with support from the Scottish Government’s ‘Community Choices Fund’ therefore the term ‘Community Choices’ may be more commonly recognised in Scotland. Check out our map of PB projects happening in Scotland >>

Small Grants PB 

Mainstreaming PB 

PB values, principles and standards can be found on the PB website.