Community groups across Moray are being encouraged to apply for a share of £150,000 to help tackle poverty and inequality.
In the latest participatory budgeting event, organisers Money for Moray are seeking requests of between £200 and £4000 that fit with the theme of A Fairer Moray for All.
Groups working to improve the lives of the vulnerable and young people in particular are encouraged to apply to tackle issues such as food insecurity, fuel poverty, transport difficulties, health and wellbeing, literacy and employability.
Once applications have been vetted there will be a public vote to decide which ones will receive funding.
Alastair Kennedy, founder member of Money for Moray, said: “It gets folk involved and engaged in the process. It means folk have a say in how money is spent and that can give a real sense of empowerment.
“It’s really participatory democracy and for me it ticks all the boxes.”
Previous events have proved to be successful with around £275,000 distributed to Moray groups over the last five years through the participatory budgeting process.
In previous years physical events were held where applicants were able to give presentations and those attending submitting their ballots there and then.
This time an online voting system will be in place, although there are plans to hold events in the Buckie and Forres areas where those seeking grants will be able to showcase their projects.
The £150,000 currently available has come from the Scottish Government’s Investing in Communities Fund, which has provided money for previous events along with Moray Council.
The money will be divided in three between the east and west of Moray with the remaining third earmarked for projects run by younger people.
Applications open this Friday and close on Friday, November 5. Forms can be submitted on the website moneyformoray.org, which has more information.
Online voting will take place in February and March next year.
By local democracy reporter Hazel Lawson
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