Published 30 January 2017
Communities in West Dunbartonshire are set to benefit from more than £91,000 of funding after their projects received the backing of residents in their local community.
The grants from the first round of Community Budgeting are being used by community organisations to support initiatives including upgrading sporting facilities, installing floodlighting at sports pitches, upgrading community facilities and resources, purchasing computer equipment, installing benches and delivering greenspace projects.
The money is also being used by groups to target and reduce social isolation through group activities. This includes organising educational trips and hosting community events – with a few groups providing Christmas trips and fayres.
Organisations funded include Age Concern, Men’s Shed and Central Radnor Park Tenants and Residents Association in Clydebank, and Meadow United and Friends of Levengrove Park in Dumbarton.
Eva McKellar from Age Concern Vale of Leven, said: “On behalf of the group I would like to thank the Council for the money we received in the Community Budgeting. We plan to use the money to install a new boiler in the group’s caravan at Seaton Sands. The caravan is a very popular resource and used by members and their families for much needed respite and quality family time for our members to spend time with their children and grandchildren. Internally the caravan has been specially converted and upgraded to meet the needs of our disabled members and externally the area is safe for our member’s grandchildren. Without this money to replace the boiler, we would not be able to use the caravan this season and we are very grateful for the Council’s support.”
Marion Sweeney reported Central Radnor Park Tenants and Residents Association were delighted to receive £4750.
Marion said: “£750 was used for a Christmas Fayre and we plan to use £2000 for memorial benches for workers of John Browns shipyards and la Scala Bingo hall. £2000 will be used for floodlighting the local "pen", the only football pitch in the area which is underused during the winter months. These small improvements will make a difference to the local area.”
Neil Etherington of the Men's Shed Clydebank, said: “We plan on using the money to upgrade The Shed with the money being used to buy gyproc plasterboard to replace the ceiling spanning the five rooms in The Shed. We plan on pitching again in early 2017 for funding to get insulation for the loft area, to lay on top the new ceiling - there isn't any at present - then we can partly floor the loft with wood from broken down pallets which have been donated. Again, all labour will be done by our members.”
Linda Adam, from The Friends of Levengrove Park, said: “The group will use the funding secured from the Community Budget to develop a Community Orchard in Levengrove Park. The idea for a Community Orchard came from consultations and surveys undertaken with users of Levengrove Park over recent years.
She added: “Being able to apply for and secure funding has been great for the group and goes a long way in demonstrating the Council's commitment to engaging with and involving the community in the planning and delivery of local services.”
The Council received 87 applications for the Community Budgeting Fund and 76 groups presented their ideas to residents in their neighbourhoods at eight separate events held over three weeks in November. Residents were tasked with voting for the projects they thought would best benefit their area. During the community voting events, 350 residents attended and 270 residents were involved in voting for projects in their area.
Chair of Community Planning West Dunbartonshire and Council Leader Councillor Martin Rooney, said: “We had a great response to our first round of community budgeting which provided an insight of what is important to residents at a local level and ideas on how they would like to see money spent in their communities. We are delighted to be distributing this money to improve our neighbourhoods and help many groups whose key aim is to help others.
He added: “We will be asking residents to submit ideas for projects in their area the next round of funding at the end of January. Many residents have great ideas on how to improve their area to benefit their community and I would encourage them to come forward with their ideas, for the chance to receive a share of the capital funding to make their idea a reality.
As the Communities Team develop the second phase they will use the feedback and suggestions gained from this first round of funding and voting events. Officers will also be on-hand to help groups develop their bids and will work to ensure every area is represented. By working together and sharing our ideas, we can continue to improve our neighbourhoods and help build on the great enthusiasm for change and community empowerment within West Dunbartonshire.”
For further information on how to apply for funding or to discuss your idea please contact the Communities Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
The full list of groups who benefited through the first round of Community Budgeting:
Vale of Leven