ALMOST 20 community-led projects are now benefiting people across Stirling thanks to the council’s Your Place: Your Priorities programme.

The initiative saw participatory budgeting piloted in rural and urban settings, with £130,000 of joint council and Scottish Government funding made available via small grants.

It preceded this year’s Your Stirling: You Decide, which saw £700,000 of council investment handed over to communities as participatory budgeting was rolled out in full across all of Stirling’s seven electoral wards.

Nearly 400 residents from across both rural and urban communities voted at two separate events to allocate £65,000 of funding to eight rural schemes and the same amount to 11 urban projects.

All applications had to address at least one of the Stirling Plan’s key themes – to make Stirling and its people prosperous, healthy, achieving and resilient (PHAR).

Some of the successful projects to have received funding and make a positive difference in communities are: 

· A programme of events in Aberfoyle Parish Church that brings lonely people together

· New and repaired play equipment for the playground at Callander Primary School

· A new 4x4 vehicle for Killin Mountain Rescue Team

· A rural outreach programme around domestic violence, forced marriage and honour based violence for black, minority, and ethnic women

Convener of the Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, cllr Chris Kane said: “It is really pleasing that so many people have created such a broad brush of projects through this money to make a positive difference in communities across Stirling.

“While this was an important learning experience that helped inform this year’s participatory budgeting project, it also proved a transformational initiative in its own right, empowering people of all ages and making a real different in inspiring projects across many different communities”

Vice convener of the committee, cllr Maureen Bennison said: “I would like to pass on my congratulations to the Communities Team for their tremendous work and commitment in organising and implementing this programme last year.

“This pilot gave residents across Stirling the opportunity to engage with their local communities and deliver a wide variety of innovative and important projects. They should be extremely proud at their achievements. A huge well done to all.”