Grand Choice 2021

What is Grand Choice?
– Guidance notes:
   – Who can apply? - eligibility 
   – Programme criteria
   – Application process

What is Grand Choice?

So, what is Participatory Budgeting all about?

Grand Choice is a Participatory Budgeting initiative which means that local people get to decide how public funds are used to address needs in their area. Community Planning Partners have pooled their resources to fund community projects.

Local people with a valid email address and Castlereagh East or Castlereagh South postcode can apply for up to £1,000 for a project they think will benefit their area of Castlereagh East or Castlereagh South - and best of all, it is the local residents who decide which projects should go ahead!

How will my personal information be used?

Stage 1. Online Application Form

If you decide to apply for funding and use your personal contact details in the Stage 1 application form. This information will be stored in a safe place and used to contact you about the application. Your full name will not be used in publicity material and contact details will not be shared.

If you are under 18 and you decide to add your personal contact details to the form you must ask a parent/ guardian/ carer to complete the online consent.  It must be submitted by 28th May.

Stage 2. Video

The video that you submit should include your first name only and the organisation you are submitting the application through. You should not include any other personal details.

Upon submission, the video will be uploaded to the website to be publicly voted for between 28th June and 11th July. At this time, it can be viewed by anyone who accesses the website. Please ensure that you are happy for the content of this video to be shared publicly.

Your views, ideas and proposal may appear in reports and press releases once that information is made public.

Voting Process

A small amount of personal information will be collected at voting stage. This information is needed to ensure that each individual only has one round of votes.

The information will include a valid email address and Castlereagh East/South postcode. This information will not be assigned to your name or the votes which you make. It is collected for voting eligibility purposes only.

Guidance notes:
Who can apply? - eligibility

You don’t have to be an existing group with your own constitution to apply. You just need a minimum of three people who have an idea for a project and a constituted group to sponsor your entry. Groups with a constitution are also welcome to apply.

You must be based within the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area.

Programme criteria

Successful projects have to be delivered by 25 February 2022 and you will also be required to attend a community celebration event in March 2022 (subject to Health Protection Regulations).  

What can we apply for?

You can apply for up to £1,000 for a local project.

All projects must adhere to current Health Protection Regulations.

Key themes

Your project must demonstrate how it relates to one or more of the Take 5 Ways To Wellbeing themes:

  • Connect – with the people around you and keep in touch with each other
  • Be Active – to help us feel good both physically and mentally
  • Take Notice – to ensure the community is safe to incorporate policing and community safety
  • Keep Learning – new things that give us a sense of achievement, enjoyment and increased confidence
  • Give – doing something that gives back to our community and help each other

We will assess your project to ensure it is legal, safe and achievable within budget and timescale. There are a few things that we cannot pay for such as salary costs, gift cards or gift vouchers, alcohol, political or religious activities or anything that would be considered contentious. Please contact us if you are not sure.

What we will fund

You can apply for up to £1,000 to pay for things such as online activities, events, tutors, venue hire, transport for trips, workshops, performers, specialist facilitator, funding towards marketing campaigns to raise awareness of specific issues identified by the community, equipment for projects e.g. ipads, litter picks, safety equipment, sports kits, outdoor gym equipment and other innovative ideas events.

What can’t be funded?

Unfortunately, there are things we cannot fund such as personal payments, alcohol, political activities and things you are already funded to deliver. If you are unsure please contact us.

NB. Funding will ONLY be available to groups based in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area that meet the above criteria.

Application process

Before applying, please check that:

  • your organisation is eligible to apply;
  • your application meets the priorities of this fund;
  • you have completed every question on your Application Form;
  • you can provide all the information we ask for as part of the application process.

Grand Choice Stage 1:

Generating Ideas and Apply Stage – where groups can complete a short application form outlining their project idea.

Once your initial application is received, we will:

  • Perform an Eligibility Check on your application and then assess it against the key themes of the grant, as highlighted in the PROGRAMME CRITERIA section above;
  • Contact you with questions should we need to, so please keep a copy of your Application Form for your reference;
  • Not assess your application if it is incomplete.

If your initial application is successful, we will:

  • Contact you about Stage 2 of the process
  • At this stage successful groups will be asked to create a 2 minute video to showcase their idea, this video will go to the public vote.
  • Videos must be submitted between 3rd and 25th June 2021. Online public voting opens for 2 weeks between 28th June - 11th July 2021.
  • This video will be hosted online and you will have the opportunity to get your community to rally behind you and vote for your project!

How does the voting work?

  • Voting will take place online through the council's website.
  • Voting will be by electoral area and will be open for two weeks from 28th June 2021
  • Voters will be given a specified number of votes – you can vote for your own project but you must also use your full allocation of votes to choose other projects too. Otherwise your vote will be null and void
  • The projects with the most public votes will be awarded up to £1,000 to make their initiative happen!
  • When voting closes, results will be announced as soon as possible after voting has closed.

If your project is selected through the public vote, we will:

  • Send you a Conditional Offer and our Terms & Conditions of Grant by email for your organisation to sign and return to the council;
  • Clearly indicate the eligible expenditure for the funding offered.
  • Request the grant to be acknowledged through the inclusion of the official Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s logo on all related promotional material associated with the project and that an Elected Member or Council Officer from Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, is invited to the event/activity to which the grant is awarded. 
  • Request the compulsory completion of an Event Notification Form (only where the event is outdoors and requires members of the community to gather together).  This will be assessed by the Council’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG) to ensure compliance with regulations, the impact of which may impact on your proposal.

Once we have received your signed Terms and Conditions we will:

  • Make payment to your group’s bank account, via the Bankers Automated Clearance System (BACS).

If your application is unsuccessful, we will:

  • Contact you by email informing you of the reasons why your application has not been successful, for which there is no right of Appeal.

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council request successful applicants submit relevant promotional material of their events to share on their social media platforms in line with the Grand Choice programme.

Proposals must comply with relevant government, public health and licensing guidance and regulations. Any activity outside the set timescales or guidance and regulations will not be eligible for funding.

Apply online

or download an application form.