Participatory Budgeting

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What is Participatory Budgeting?

Participatory Budgeting can be described as “local people deciding how to allocate part of a public budget.” It is a way for citizens to have a direct say in how public funds are used to address local needs. However it is much more than just deciding how resources are allocated. It provides opportunities to engage in non-traditional ways that reach out to people who don’t often have a voice and it can become a celebration of positive action in the community.

We’re pleased to be involved with some current PB projects in Bushmills and Rasharkin. To find out more about Participatory Budgeting, including previous PB projects in Causeway Coast and Glens

Bushmills Community Choices

Bushmills Community Choices is an exciting new project taking place in Bushmills & District hosted by Northern Area Community Network (NACN) and Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council. There is a total pot of £6,000 that the community will decide on how to spend through a process of designing the rules and ideas, conversations, connections and community voting.

The project is open to all, Primary 6 and above who live, work, learn or socialise in the Bushmills & District area. People can get involved either as an individual or as part of a group.

People were invited to come up with an idea that they could make a start on for either up to £500 or up to £1500 that they think would benefit the community by 14th October.

The bids are now in and a Big Community Vote will now take place between 12 noon and 2pm on Saturday 29th October 2022 to hear about other people’s ideas and get to vote on the projects people think would have most benefit.

The projects with enough votes will get the money to make them happen. Those that don’t quite get enough votes will be supported to look at other options.

The project is part funded by the Department for Communities and The Executive Office District Council Good Relations Programme.

To find out more contact:

Gabrielle Quinn, Community Development Officer  M. 07871 732 616     E.

Gerard McIlroy, Good Relations Officer       M. 07517 498 458        E.


Click here for Privacy Notice in relation to personal information gathered as part of the Bushmills Community Choices project.  

Sharkin Plan-It: Participatory Budgeting and Planning in Rasharkin

The Sharkin Plan-It process commenced in December 2021 and is an exciting project taking place in the Rasharkin and surrounding areas. The process guided by a Community Working Group has supported the wider community to come together to celebrate the many hidden treasures and assets within the village and surrounding area and to consider the ‘little’ and ‘big’ ideas that could help to make Rasharkin an even better place to live, work, play or learn. The project is hosted by Northern Area Community Network in partnership with a ‘Helping Hands’ group consisting of the local Multi-Disciplinary Social Work Team (MDT Social Work Team), Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Community Places and Participatory Budgeting Works. The process has adopted an innovative approach combining a participatory budgeting and village place shaping process together to animate and support the local community, to consider and action what is most important to them and of benefit to the wider community. The pot of £6000 that enables the participatory budgeting process was provided through the MDT Social Work Team. At every step, efforts have been purposefully made to reach out to, re-energise and work alongside the local community at a pace directed by them to shape and deliver ‘Sharkin Plan-It’. This was essential in responding to the isolating impacts of Covid-19 on community action. Efforts have also been made to connect the local community to key community planning and support partners to commence a new conversation about what is possible when projects and services are genuinely co-designed with the local community. A massive 44 bids were submitted and over 300 people cast their votes on Saturday 18th June at the Big Community Lunch and Voting event. Check out the  Sharkin Plan-It  Facebook page for details of the projects that were supported and for regular updates.

Click here to access the Sharkin Plan-It Report.