23 November
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This was originally launched back in February 2020 but had to be postponed due to COVID-19. It is now being re-launched to give groups and organisations the opportunity to help meet the needs of their community at this time, building on the resilience and strength that has been shown over the last few months and to make sure that local people have the opportunity now more than ever to be involved in how we support communities.

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

£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.

The community choices model will allow 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 18 December 2020. Further information and application guidance can be found via the community choices section of the West Lothian Council website - www.westlothian.gov.uk/blackburn-community-choices

Information on each of the projects that meet the initial criteria will be posted online and members of the community of Blackburn will then vote on the projects they think best meet the needs of the local area.

Voting will take place at the start of next year with the project receiving the most votes allocated the funds.  

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 (graham.whitelaw@westlothian.gov.uk) or Susan Gordon (susan.gordon@westlothian.gov.uk)