Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and Triangle Housing Association were delighted to work in partnership to bring participatory budgeting to Limavady and Ballykelly – allowing residents to have a direct say in how public funds are used to address local needs.
The process is supported by the Department for Communities and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s ‘Housing for All’ Shared Housing Programme, which has its origins in the NI Executive ‘Together: Building a United Community Strategy’. This reflects the Executive’s commitment to improving community relations and continuing the journey towards a more united and shared society.
Fourteen community groups applied for funding across the Limavady and Ballykelly areas. This was followed by The Big Community Vote, which saw local people vote for their favourite projects. The voting took place over two days in June, with a turnout of more than 300 voters.
The winning projects in Ballykelly were Orchard Community Playgroup, who will use their funding for a Sow & Grow Gardening project for children, and The Friendly Friday Club, who plan to develop a seating area for local people to enjoy their community garden.
Meanwhile, the funding will be used for a variety of different projects throughout Limavady including, flower bombing, music tuition, a parent and baby programme, a memory bench, a fishing programme with men, a community garden, meals for a summer scheme and sensory toys.
Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Steven Callaghan said: “The Big Community Vote days were really successful, and it was fabulous to see the whole community coming together to take part in the process. It was great to see local people being engaged and having a direct say in how they want public funds to be spent in their areas.”
Eliza Martin, Neighbourhoods and Community Investment Coordinator, Triangle Housing Association said: “Both voting days were such lovely events. It is all about community, inclusion and involvement and this is what we saw in Ballykelly and Limavady.”