Community funding, community decisions

More than £900,000 has been given to 180 different projects in Newport as part of the participatory budget programme.
Two people on a stage talking to an audience inside the Dolman/Dau berson ar lwyfan yn siarad â chynulleidfa y tu mewn i Theatr Dolman Theatre/

What makes this scheme different from other grants, is that local people are asked to decide where public money is spent and more than 850 have participated.

Led by the city council, a wide team of people are involved in the planning and delivery of the programme including representatives from Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Newport 50+ Forum, the youth council and GAVO as well as individuals.

In the latest round, £170,000 was made available to support wellbeing in the community and grants of up to £5,000 were awarded to 28 projects after the voting was complete.

These included Dragons Wheelchair Rugby, the Forget Me Not Chorus, Rewild Play and Active Angels.

Those who have taken part in the programme have given their feedback. “Really inspiring and informative to see the range of activities and facilities that are out there,” said one.

Another added that there had been a fantastic selection of projects and it was an opportunity to see what was going on in the city.

Councillor Dimitri Batrouni, leader of Newport City Council, said: “Newport has led the way in Wales in using participatory budgeting as a way of involving local people in how public money is spent. 

“It is unclear what the financial landscape will look like next year, but I very much hope this is something we can do again."

To find out a bit more about what the programme involves, take a look at our video 

Financial support for this year’s programme was secured from the UK government’s Shared Prosperity Fund.