camelon, community, funding, tamfourhill

Vote Vote Vote (part one)

You may remember promotion a few months back regarding some new funding available through Falkirk Council called Community Choices. This is where the council have taken a percentage of their budget and opened it up to communities to apply for things in their area, and then to vote on what gets the money.

Well, some local groups have been busy, we’ve been supporting them as needed, and now the first opportunity to vote has now arrived! This is for the small grants section of the fund which is for projects or activities up to a maximum of £1,500. Voting is per local authority ward (so Camelon is in Ward 6 and Tamfourhill is in Ward 7) and your vote will only count if you live in the specific area (this will be verified by your postcode). Everything is being done online, but if anyone doesn’t have access to a device, they can contact us to be referred to get a paper ballot or record their vote via telephone.  Voting is open until 18 June and then it will be the turn of the larger capital fund projects, but I’ll be back with info on those at the appropriate time.

For now, here’s information on the projects seeking your vote right here in our area (in alphabetical order). There are others listed in each ward as the boundaries extend beyond our area, but I have just highlighted the ones either in Camelon or Tamfourhill for obvious reasons. You can vote for up to 3 projects and, with an allocation of money per area, the projects with the most votes will get the cash or a portion of it depending on how the results end up. The link you need is further down the page.

Ward 6 (Camelon)

Camelon Community Centre – Exercise for all – £1,500
Funding will enable local people to access exercise or sports activity in the Centre without worrying about not being able to afford to attend.

Keep Camelon and Tamfourhill Tidy Clean and Green – Pop up Parks – £1,500
Funding will enable local volunteers to turn as many unloved rough grassy patches as possible into super-green, clean, safe and colourful mini-parks with plants and seating, for a fortnight or more at a time.

Let’s talk Table Tennis – Bringing back Table Tennis – £832
Funding will allow for the safe return of Table Tennis for the over 50s at Camelon Community Centre.

Ward 7 (Tamfourhill)

Stirlingshire & Midland Counties Table Tennis Association – New Community Table Tennis Sessions – £1,370
Funding would enable the launch of new Table Tennis sessions based at Tamfourhill Community Hub.

Other Options

As I said, there are some other options in each area that might attract your vote and would still benefit this area. Here’s some info on a couple of them:

  • Ward 6 – Falkirk Fury Basketball Club – £1,500 – Funding would support their ongoing program in delivering basketball to primary schools.
  • Ward 7 – Cyrenians – £1,400 – Funding would support a project called “Growing Plants, Growing People” at Dollar Park.

To vote, go to www.falkirk.gov.uk/ccvote and follow the links and instructions there. Again, if you have any difficulties or know someone without digital access, please get in touch so we can make sure everyone’s vote can still be registered. There’s also more information on this flyer

camelon, community, development, funding, Our Place, Support, tamfourhill

Want some free money?!

Well if that headline hasn’t grabbed your attention I don’t know what will!

When I’ve put up blogs about funding before, they’ve been mainly directed at organisations and admittedly not relevant to everyone, but this one is different and is worth reading on – I promise!

Falkirk Council have released over £3m of funding that is available for local communities to apply for to bring about the changes that can make a difference in their community. There are different allocations for each local authority ward and ultimately, you, the council tax paying public, will get to vote on which projects get the money. It is released under the banner of “Community Choices” and all the information is on the council website but I’ll summarise the main points for you here.

Before I get into the funding specifics, let me remind you about how the Council Wards are structured. Our work actually covers two Wards, with the Forth and Clyde canal essentially being the dividing line: Camelon is in Ward 6 (Falkirk North) that also includes Langlees, Bainsford, Bankside, Middlefield, Merchiston, West Mains and Grahamston. Tamfourhill is in Ward 7 (Falkirk South) that also includes Bantaskine, Summerford, Arnothill, Woodlands, Callendar Park, Glen Village, Lionthorn and Hallglen. I list all these areas to let you know what you’re up against as every area will feel it deserves its fair share of the funding and will undoubtedly have worthy projects to put forward.

So, do you have an idea that will improve the quality of life in our community? Do you have a proposal that will make a positive and lasting difference to our area? I know of quite a few options and this fund could be the way to make it happen. Essentially, here at OPCT, we will support you as much as possible to help make your application as strong and relevant as it can be. You don’t have to come through us but if you do need assistance, we can help with application wording, background information, or anything else you need. Importantly, we may also know of a project that is similar to what you are thinking about and so could provide relevant advice and, if appropriate, we could link you up to double the strength of your application.

So, who can apply?

Clubs, organisations, community groups and even individuals can apply for funding to make these changes happen. Applicants do not need to have a formal constitution but if you’re an individual or group of friends/residents considering putting a bid in for something, the Community Choices team will aim to link you up with a recognised organisation that could hold the funds for the project.

What can you apply for?

Firstly, let me say that this funding will not solve everything we’d want to do locally and is unlikely to help with large projects – but it’s a start. The public vote system will at least bring visibility to what you want to do which might even attract others to join in with you.

There are two separate funds on offer. The first is a small grants programme with a maximum of £1,500 per proposal. There is around £10,000 for each Council Ward in year 1. The second fund is a Capital programme where £3m is available over two years. Proposals for this fund must be for a minimum of £5,000, and can be used for building something new, improving an asset, and purchasing equipment. Remember that £3m is across all 9 Wards so even though there is no upper limit on application, large projects are unlikely to be successful. However, the Community Choices team will also aim to provide additional support including signposting to other suitable funding if possible.

What do we need to do?

At this stage, the council just require an Expression of Interest form to be completed. This is not a full application and needs a couple of hundred words to explain what the project is, who it would benefit and who would be involved in making it happen. It does not require full financial information but a broad indication of costs would be helpful. The form is on the website.

The important thing to note is that Expressions of Interest are due by Friday 5 March with final applications due by 9 April. This is a very tight timeline but that’s what we have to work with and, with the right support, the right applications can be submitted. The final stage is a public vote that will take place between 26 April and 14 May. We will keep you posted as we hear how that vote will operate.

So, over to you?

What do you think could be applied for? Can I help you get that application in? Get in touch with me (Dan) in the usual way via email to communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk, call on 07444 873151, or message via social media. Let’s make this happen!