Building a stronger Merkinch - Your chance to have your say
Participatory budgeting is coming to the Merkinch Community Council Area! ‘PB’ is a process that lets the local community decide for themselves which community projects are needed in their area and involves locals in ensuring public money is well spent. To help get this off the ground in Merkinch, the Inverness Central Ward Councillors have set aside £10,000 of grant funding from the Ward Discretionary Budget and a further £10,000 has been added by the Scottish Government - bringing the total pot to £20,000.
The fund is open to any local community, voluntary or non-profit organisations based in the Merkinch Community Council Area. Projects can be large or small, add value to existing projects or be something completely new. Only one bid is permitted per section of an organisation; for example, a bid could be submitted by both the Cubs and Explorers sections of the Scouts.
Grants can be applied for from £200 to £2,500 and you must submit your application before 5pm on Friday 23rd February 2018. If your idea fits, the community will get to vote for the best ideas at an event to be held on Saturday 24th March 2018 at the Merkinch Community Centre from 10am.
At the event you will be required to present your idea to the community. The event is open to all, and individuals who would like to help decide are invited to come along and vote for their favourite projects. Those in attendance vote on all the applications and decisions are made on the day.
The Ward Councillors – Janet Campbell, Richard Laird and Bet McAllister are encouraging groups to apply.
Cllr Janet Campbell said: “This is not just a new way of allocating funding but the chance to reach-out to new groups, and different projects and create an opportunity for the community to come together.”
Cllr Bet McAllister said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the people who live in Merkinch to decide directly for themselves how ward funding is spent locally.”
Cllr Laird added: “With grants available from £200 through to £2500 this will hopefully encourage some new and exciting ideas to come forward that will benefit the area so we encourage people to get their applications in before the closing date.”
The fund is open to any local community, voluntary or non-profit organisations and informal groups that are based within the Merkinch Community Council area.
Application forms can be obtained by dropping into see Anne at the Work Club at Merkinch Partnership (Tel 01463 718 989); Andy Jessiman, Youth Development Officer, at the Jannies Hoose Merkinch (Tel 07500 784125); and Joanna at the Clay Studio on Grant Street. All of whom will also be able to provide information and assistance with the application process.
Applications can also be accessed online from the The Highland Council Website.