‘Grand Choice’ set to reopen

April 28, 2021

Local residents or groups in the Castlereagh side of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council can apply for the ‘Grand Choice’ participatory budgeting initiative from 28th April.

Alderman Michael Henderson MBE, Leisure & Community Development Chairman, said: “This scheme is part of the council’s local investment plan for 2021/22. We have £30,000 available for projects across the council’s district electoral areas of Castlereagh East and Castlereagh South.  This includes the Ballyhanwood, Beechill, Cairnshill, Carryduff East, Carryduff West, Carrowreagh, Dundonald, Enler, Galwally, Graham’s Bridge, Knockbracken, Moneyreagh and Newtownbreda areas.

“Like last year’s pilot in Killultagh, successful projects can win up to £1,000 and they will be chosen by their local community. Voting will be online this year and will take place from 18th June to 2nd July with each applicant submitting a short video on their project. We encourage our residents to use their voting power to select the projects they feel would best suit their communities.”

Those projects that receive financial support must relate to one or more of the Take 5 themes of Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give.

Councillor Alex Swan, Chairman of the Lisburn & Castlereagh PCSP, said: “We know from the success of last year that ‘Grand Choice’ offers the perfect opportunity for residents to bring a project or event to their local community. To apply, you don’t have to be part of an existing constituted group but such groups are eligible to apply.  If you and a few friends have an idea to support your local community then please consider applying.

“You can apply for up to £1,000 for things such as online activities, events, tutors, workshops, performers or specialist facilitator. If you have a specific issue that needs addressed within the community then you can request funding for marketing campaigns or equipment for projects.  If your group is not constituted you must obtain sponsor support from a local constituted group.

“All applications will be assessed to ensure the project is legal, safe, achievable within government guidance, the budget and timescale.  We will then be in touch to request your video submission. Your community will vote for projects based on these videos. Our communities have the power to decide on where the funding goes.

“Three online workshops have been scheduled to help you decide if your project would be eligible for ‘Grand Choice’ funds.  Please join us and talk to the team who will be happy to answer your questions.”

The scheduled community zoom workshops are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday 5th May at 3.00pm
  • Thursday 6th May at 7.00pm
  • Friday 7th May at 11.00am

To register to attend one of the workshop sessions please email: pcsp@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk

The council and its partners intend to undertake the next round of Grand Choice in Downshire West in autumn 2021 with a community based voting event subject to government guidance.  From April 2022 it will open for Downshire East, Lisburn North and South commencing April 2022.  The pilot phase took place in Killultagh in February 2020.

Lisburn & Castlereagh PCSP, Sport NI, PSNI, the NI Housing Executive and the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust have contributed to the scheme in addition to the council.

To apply online or to download an application form please go to www.lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk/pcsp  before Friday 28th May 2021.