Grand Choice 2023

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

Your project should take place between  and must be within Castlereagh South District Electoral Area. This includes Beechill, Cairnshill, Carryduff East, Carryduff West, Galwally, Knockbracken, Newtownbreda

How will my personal information be used?.

Stage 1.  Application Form 

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

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 17th September 2023.

When you submit your entry, we will check if it meets with our themes – we might give you a call for some further information.

We aim to let groups know if they’ve been shortlisted by 21st September or as soon as possible thereafter.

The shortlisted projects will be required to exhibit their proposal at a Community Decision Event on Saturday 21st October 2023. 

Stage 2. Community Decision Event

At the Community Decision Event in October you will tell the voters what you plan to do and what you hope to achieve as they visit your stand. All you need to do is tell them some information about what you do, what the project is about and how this will be good for the Lisburn North area. You can do this by using pictures, posters and/or display boards etc.

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

Voting Process

The people attending the Community Decision Event will vote on which projects should be funded. They will be required to vote for 10 projects.

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 Castlereagh South area.

Programme criteria

Successful projects have to be delivered between October 2023 and February 2024 and you will also be required to attend a community celebration event.  

What can we apply for?

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

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 
  • 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 attend the February Community Decision Event to showcase their project.

How does the voting work?

  • Voting will take place at the Community Decision Event.
  • Voting will be by electoral area only.
  • Voters attending on the day will be asked to vote for 10 projects.
  • 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 shortly after the Community Decision Event.

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.

Apply online   or click here to download an application form.