COMMUNITY projects across Clydebank have cashed in to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds thanks to a change in a council grant scheme.

The first phase of West Dunbartonshire Council’s much vaunted £1 million “Your Community Funding Scheme” launched in 2016 – with groups invited to apply for a share of £25,000 allocated to areas across the local authority.

The take up was much lower than expected – blamed on a cap of £2,000 per application.

However, a report to go before members of the Community Planning West Dunbartonshire Management Board this week reveals the second phase of the initiative, which saw the funding cap raised to £10,000, was a resounding success.

Since the introduction of the scheme community organisations funded initiatives including upgrading sporting facilities, installing floodlighting at sports pitches, upgrading local facilities and resources, purchasing computer equipment, installing benches and delivering greenspace projects, amongst others.

The money is also being used by groups to target and reduce social isolation through group activities, including school trips and hosting community events – with a few groups providing Christmas trips and fairs.

Groups to have benefited from the cash include Age Concern, Men’s Shed and Central Radnor Park Tenants and Residents Association in Clydebank, and Meadow United and Friends of Levengrove Park in Dumbarton, So far seven projects in Dalmuir and Mountblow have shared £31,050, two causes in Duntocher and Hardgate split £19,467, while two Faifley causes received a share of £26,628.

In Old Kilpatrick, four recipients made use of a total of £16,690, while five causes shared £15,546 in Parkhall, North Kilbowie and Clydebank Central.

And there may even be a third phase planned to dish out remaining cash in the pot.

The report, from Amanda Coulthard, WDC’s corporate and community planning manager, states: “The first round of community budgeting was delivered over November 2016, with useful feedback from these events used to inform the second phase of community budgeting in May 2017.

“Phase two of community budgeting commenced in February 2017, with widespread advertising and drop-in events held over March to support development of bids ahead of the April 10 submission deadline.

“Almost 100 expressions of interest and applications were received for phase 2 of community budgeting and 72 of these are progressed to voting events.

“Nine local voting events took place over a three-week period from May 23 to June 7, 2017.

“Almost 500 local residents came along to participate in these events over the three weeks, with hundreds more taking part through email voting.”

Her report also goes on to say: “In this second phase of community budgeting, held over May/June 2017, 62 projects were successfully funded and 10 projects were unsuccessful in securing funding.

“A total of £311,407 was allocated across these projects, £28,986 of which was revenue.

“This was a hugely successful funding round, leaving just over £100,000 of the original £425,000 of capital funding available for a further round.

“Discussions are taking place at the Your Community Strategic Steering Group on the best way to open out the remaining funding to communities across West Dunbartonshire.”