Record turnout sees community windfall for Troon and surrounding villages
29 community groups in Troon, Barassie, Muirhead, Dundonald, and Loans are celebrating after landing fresh funding to help support their work. A record 440 people turned out to take part in the latest decision day on Sat 16 September.
The event is part of a new way to encourage people to get actively involved in local decision making known as 'Participatory Budgeting'. Building on the success of recent community funding decision days, the latest 'marketplace event' saw 29 groups pitch their ideas to local people, who then voted to award funding. Due to the high number of participating groups and huge volume of voters on the day, it was agreed by the Troon and Villages Locality Planning Group to increase the funding amount from £35,000 to £43,690, with groups funded up to £1,000 for local projects and up to £3,000 for projects that benefit the wider community. Voting was open to anyone living, working, volunteering or studying in Troon, Barassie, Muirhead, Dundonald, and Loans, aged 10+. Among the successful projects: A new drop in group in Troon from the Breastfeeding Network, a new kitchen at Loans Community Centre, a new biodiversity project from the Friends of Fullerton, a community shed for the Troon Allotment Society, and reduced isolation through the Loans Seniors Keep Fit and Craft Group. Leader of South Ayrshire Council, Douglas Campbell, said the grants would be put to good use, "It's great to see that people are coming out in high numbers at the weekend and supporting the groups they want to receive additional funding, which is what decision days are all about. "With a broad-range of different organisations now able to focus on getting more people involved in the work that they do, the events also help to connect local groups and share knowledge with like-minded people. "The Troon and villages event was the latest in a series and I'm pleased to see another successful event take place and I'd like to wish everyone involved the best of luck as they take their projects forward." Key themes for the funding included: tackling social isolation and loneliness, communication and promotion of groups and services, positive mental health and reducing stigma, addressing transport issues, and opportunities for young people. The money was made available from South Ayrshire Council and the Scottish Government.