Local residents or groups in the Castlereagh East area of Lisburn and Castlereagh can apply for up to £1,000 via the ‘Grand Choice’ participatory budgeting initiative from 15 January 2024.

The key difference between Grand Choice and other council managed funding opportunities is that the successful projects are chosen by the community.  The votes of those living in Castlereagh East will decide which projects will be funded.

Councillor Thomas Beckett, Leisure & Community Development Chairman, said: “Once again the council is proud to be supporting this scheme. There is £15,000 available for projects across the council’s district electoral area of Castlereagh East. This includes the Moneyreagh, Ballyhanwood, Carrowreagh, Dundonald, Enler and Graham`s Bridge areas.

“As with previous rounds of Grand Choice, successful projects can win up to £1,000 and will be chosen by their local community. Voting will be in person at a Community Decision Event on Saturday 9 March in St Mary`s Church of Ireland Hall, Ballybeen, 1A Craigleigh Drive, Dundonald from 11am to 3pm.  We encourage residents in the Castlereagh East area to use their voting power to select the projects they feel best suit their communities.”

Projects that relate to one or more of the Take 5 themes of Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give will be eligible for funding.  All projects must be completed between March and June 2024.

Councillor Alan Givan, Chair of the Lisburn & Castlereagh PCSP, said: “To date Grand Choice has been a great success in all the other district electoral areas with the most recent held in the Castlereagh South area in October 2023. It offers the perfect opportunity for residents, constituted groups and schools to bring a project or event to their local community.  If you and a few friends have an idea to support your local community then I would encourage you to consider applying.

“You can apply for up to £1,000 for things such as online or in-person activities, events, tutors, workshops, performers or specialist facilitator. Should you have a specific community issue that needs addressed then you could 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, and achievable within government guidance, the budget and timescale. Our communities have the power to decide where the Grand Choice 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,” concluded Councillor Givan.

The scheduled community Teams workshops are scheduled for:

  • Tuesday 23 January 2024 at 6.30pm
  • Wednesday 24 January 2024 at 10am
  • Thursday 25 January 2024 at 3pm

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

Lisburn & Castlereagh PCSP, PSNI, Sport NI, Ark Housing, Choice Housing and Northern Ireland Housing Executive have contributed to the scheme in addition to the council.

To apply online or to download an application form please use this link before Sunday 11 February 2024.