An innovative new project which will put power and money into the hands of communities has been launched in Clackmannanshire.
The Community Matters project will make £100,000 available for community-based activities.
The project, run by the Council and the Joint Community Council Forum, will involve local people in decisions on how funding is allocated to activities which address the priorities of their area. The first stage of the project is grant applications which opened this week and will run until 31st December.
Interest in Community Matters has been building since this pilot was first announced last month. Council Leader Bobby McGill said: "The funding is expressly for Clackmannanshire's communities. It's for them to use and it's for them to decide. I would encourage large and small groups and organisations who are working for the benefit of our communities to apply."
Community Matters aims to allocate funding to community-based activities which address community priorities under two categories:
It is funded by Clackmannanshire Council and the Scottish Government's Community Choices Fund.
Jennie Syme, Chair of Alloa Community Council and member of the Community Matters Co-ordinating Group, said: "The fund will only be open for a relatively short period so the grant application stage has been deliberately kept simple and accessible. There are lots of ideas out there for how we can make a difference in our communities and we look forward to seeing them benefitting all of Clackmannanshire's communities."
The decision-making stage of the process will take place in January and further announcements about how people can become involved in the decisions will follow. Information about how you can apply and become actively involved is available from all community councils and has been posted on ClacksWeb.
Community Matters is a Participatory Budgeting project. Participatory Budgeting 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.