Decision Day for North Ayrshire’s Young People

Over £60,000 has been allocated to youth projects across North Ayrshire in one of Scotland’s largest ever online participatory budgeting exercises exclusively for young people.

From 9am on Wednesday, 2 November, until 12 noon on Wednesday, 9 November, over 5,000 young people visited Young Scot’s online voting platform to decide how £60,762 should be allocated to youth projects in their local area with 46 projects receiving funding.

Young people aged 11-25 were asked to rate projects available in their locality in order of preference, with the most popular projects in each area given a share of the funding.

And the results have seen:

  • £6,281 allocated to five projects on Arran;
  • £9,804 for eight project in the Garnock Valley;
  • £13,940 shared among 10 projects in Irvine;
  • £9,071 for six projects in Kilwinning;
  • £9,206 for seven projects in North Shore; and
  • £12,460 for nine projects within the Three Towns

Around 130 applications were received from a wide variety of organisations which were whittled down to shortlist of 69 going forward for the public vote.  The shortlist included a range of projects for spots clubs, film groups and campaigns to raise awareness of mental health.

The first £40,000 in funding was made available from North Ayrshire Council’s Youth Action Fund with the remaining £20,762 coming from the Scottish Government’s Community Choices Fund – an initiative to enable people to have a greater voice on local priorities.

Speaking about the event, North Ayrshire’s Youth Champion, Councillor Peter McNamara, said: “We are delighted that so many young people from all over North Ayrshire got involved in this Participatory Budgeting exercise.  They literally turned out in their thousands to decide how money should be spent on youth and extra-curricular projects for young people.

“We hope they enjoyed taking part and we look forward to seeing how the funding is spent to make a difference in all six localities.”

The event was delivered in partnership with Young Scot – the national information and citizenship organisation for young people aged 11-26 in Scotland.  They provided the online voting platform which was used by all 5,084 young people to make their decisions.

Young Scot Chief Executive, Louise Macdonald, said: “We have been delighted to partner with North Ayrshire Council to put real decision making directly into the hands of young people. The Young Scot Card is a powerful tool for widening participation at a local level and letting young people take the lead with decision making.

“This has been a fantastic exercise – and one of best examples to date – with Young people voting in their thousands for some excellent projects. We are looking forward to seeing how they progress and deliver for young people across North Ayrshire.”