12 February
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Blackburn Community Choices is a process that enables local communities to decide how public funding is spent.

It aims to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and families in Blackburn and is a pilot project as part of the wider development of Participatory Budgeting (PB) in West Lothian.  £25,000 has been allocated to the community of Blackburn to address health and wellbeing in the area through participatory budgeting - a way of directly involving local people in making decisions on how local money is spent.

The chosen theme of health and Wellbeing is taken from 'Blackburn's Future' regeneration plan which was created by the local regeneration group, Blackburn's Futures Group.  

The plan sets out the key issues for Blackburn and is based on extensive consultation and engagement with the community. The main priority area that the plan seeks to address is Poverty, Health and Wellbeing. 

This way of allocating money allows members of the community to decide how the money is spent, and gives groups and organisations an opportunity to show how their project can improve an aspect of health and wellbeing in Blackburn.

In order to apply for funding, groups/individuals must:

  • Be a constituted voluntary or community organisation or registered charity
  • Have a bank account in the name of the group or organisation that has two signatories who are not related or live at the same address.
  • Be able to offer provision for the community of Blackburn.
  • Demonstrate how your idea or project addresses at least one of the priorities stated in the guidance.
  • Not already be in receipt of monies from the Council for your project or idea
  • The deadline for applications is Friday 13 March 2020.Guidance on how to apply and the application form can be found on the webpage.
  • Projects or ideas that meet the criteria will be invited to attend a community event where they will set up a stall showcasing their project as part of a bigger marketplace. 
  • Members of the community will be invited to attend, visit all the stalls to learn more about each project and then vote on the projects they think best meet the needs of the community.
  • The projects with the most votes from the community will be awarded the funding.

The event will be held on Friday 27 March 2020 from 3pm-7pm in Blackburn Partnership Centre.

Please note that Community Choices provides one off grants made to fund new activity. They are not intended to fund the continuation of existing activity or ongoing running costs for your organisation.

If you would like support with your application, please contact community.planning@westlothian.gov.uk or contact Graham Whitelaw on 01506 281101 or Susan Gordon on 01506 283090.

Further information on Blackburn Community Choices will be made available via the Community Choices pages on the West Lothian Council website