The council say they will have funds available to community groups by March next year.

Any groups based in or delivering services to West Dunbartonshire are being invited to apply for a share of £471,000 to spend on equipment or property upgrades within their area.

The money is part of the Place Based Investment Programme, a Scottish Government initiative that seeks to accelerate the delivery of community-led regeneration, community wealth building, town centre revitalisation, and 20-minute neighbourhoods.

£71,000 of the money has been set aside for small grants, which include any bid of up to £5,000.

The remaining £400,000 will be left for applications for funding of £50,000 or more.

Councillor David McBride said: “The Placed Based Investment Programme funding will make a real difference to our communities.

“Residents are at the heart of all the decisions made by the council and by asking them to apply for these community grants gives us a great opportunity to listen to what is needed in each area and what will have the most impact.

“I’d encourage as many groups as possible to consider the guidance to check for eligibility and apply for funding to better their community.”

As well as securing money to invest in valuable projects, groups will receive full support in completing their application from the Council’s Regeneration Team.

And West Dunbartonshire natives will be given the chance to vote on who receives the small grant funding through an online ballot.

Councillor Lawrence O’Neill, Vice Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development, added: “There is a significant amount of money available here to be used by the community for the community.

“We understand that applying for any type of funding can be complex and that’s why the teams will be on hand to support any organisation with the process. In addition, a range of drop-in public sessions are being held both in person and online in the coming weeks, so please make sure you request help at these if you require it.”

Online support meetings are being held on Monday, December 4 at 2pm-3pm and again on Wednesday 6 December between 6pm and 7pm.

Groups thinking about applying for a community grant can also seek support in person at a drop-in at the following venues as detailed below:

· Tuesday 9 January – 10am-2pm: Alexandria CE Centre

· Wednesday 10 January – 10am-2pm: Dumbarton Library

· Thursday 11 January – 10am-2pm: Dalmuir Community Centre

Further information is available here.

Applications for both grants are open now. Small grants can be submitted until January 23, 2024. The public vote for small grants will be held online in February 2024.

Large grant applications will be considered and assessed by the council against the published criteria, with a decision expected to be given to groups in early March 2024.