Cash boost for community regeneration projects

Aberdeen City Council has received an extra cash injection to fund a number of community driven regeneration projects.

The local authority was awarded £100,000 towards its successful participatory budgeting project, U Decide, where residents directly decide how to spend part of a public budget to help improve their community.

The funding comes just weeks after the Council’s Communities, Housing and Infrastructure Committee allocated £210,000 to the ongoing community scheme.

Of the £310,000 cash pool, £150,000 will be used for local priorities which are being identified by members of the public at three locality events and the balance of which will be used for future projects.

The money was awarded through the Scottish Government’s Community Choices Fund for Participatory Budgeting and was the highest amount that could be received by applicants and the single largest amount for Scotland.

Aberdeen City Council Leader and chair of Community Planning Aberdeen Councillor Jenny Laing said: said: This Council is committed to working with local residents to bring forward projects which will benefit their communities and make a positive difference to their daily lives. We want local people to be at the heart of the decision making process and the participatory budgeting events already undertaken have demonstrated how effective this community involvement can be.

It is wonderful that our model is being recognised as an effective process to achieve community empowerment and this extra funding will be made available for further projects which will help to deliver regeneration and community benefit right across the city.”

Two of three of the locality events have been held by Community Planning Aberdeen where residents of Northfield, Middlefield, Cummings Park, Heathryfold and Mastrick and Torry gathered to shape the priorities for their community during roundtable discussions.

The final event will take place at St Machar Academy on October 8 and for residents of Tillydrone, Seaton and Woodside.

Priorities set at these meetings will be voted on in March 2017 by residents and the projects will be taken forward.

Several participatory budgeting projects are already happening across the city including £30,000 in Torry to upgrade and improve unused green space and £25,000 to go to projects to benefit residents in Froghall, Powis and Sunnybank through the Fairer Aberdeen Fund and the Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership.

Another project is where residents of three multi-storeys - Linksfield, Promenade and Regent Courts - have been suggesting ideas how £100,000 can be used to improve their buildings and surrounding area.