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What is participatory budgeting?

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a way for people to decide how money is spent within their community to improve health and wellbeing.

There are two main methods:

  1. mainstream - where communities decide how a particular service’s budget is spent or
  2. small grant - where communities bid from a specific pot to run projects

How does it work?

A pot of money is made available and priority areas are identified. Examples are improving mental health in Auchinleck or improving social connectedness in Kilmarnock. People and groups are invited to bid for the money by describing how their project or idea will help make things better for their community, in relation to the priorities.

Bidders are shortlisted and invited to an event to sell their idea. People from the communities come along to the event and vote for their favourites. These events are friendly competitions and can be organised in a number of ways but the key thing is the people who live in the community decide which ideas get some funding.

Can I apply?

Almost definitely! There are a few restrictions but if you’ve got a bank account and a good idea, the chances are you can. Lots of support is available to help you if it’s your first time.

What should I do now?

Join our network to keep up-to-date and find out when new PB funds are coming. Please get in touch.

Successful PB projects

Find out which groups and projects in your locality have already benefited from PB:

For information on successful projects from the 2022 Wellbeing for all Locality PB fund visit Living well in East Ayrshire: Wellbeing for All Participatory Budgeting Fund

Further information

Contact Information


East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership
The Johnnie Walker Bond
15 Strand Street