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Participatory budgeting

Participatory budgeting (PB) is recognised internationally as a way for people to have a direct say in how local money is spent.

We support PB as a tool for community engagement and for developing participatory democracy in Scotland. PB can:

  • support the principle of Public Service Reform that says people should have equal opportunity to participate in decisions shaping their local community and society
  • complement aspirations in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 to give communities more powers to achieve their own ambitions
  • help deliver the Public Sector Equality Duty by advancing equality of opportunity and fostering good relations between different groups

Community Choices Fund

We support and promote PB nationally through our Community Choices Fund. The Fund is delivered in partnership with local authorities, communities and third sector organisations, and is implemented across policy areas including policing, health and social care, transport, and education.

The PB Scotland website provides accessible information on events, policy and resources in Scotland, as well as examples of Community Choices in action.

The PB Working Group meets on a bi-monthly basis and provides us with advice and guidance.

For more information see our Community Choices Fund guidance.

Send questions about the fund to

Community Choices Fund 2017 to 2018

Applications for the 2017 to 2018 fund are now closed.

In February 2016 we announced we would commit £2 million to the Community Choices Fund for 2017 to 2018. £1.5 million of the fund is available in two categories of £750,000 each. Category one is for public authorities, including local authorities and other public bodies, while category two is for community organisations and Community Councils.

The fund's aim is to support PB activity which will significantly expand opportunities for more local people to make decisions on local spending priorities.

A total of 91 applications were received to the sum of £4,953,541. Of those, 22 were from public authorities totalling £1,295,550 and 69 from community organisations totalling £3,657,991. A total of 33 organisations received a share of £1.5 million.

Community Choices Fund 2016 to 2017

A total of 137 applications for funding were received in 2016 to 2017, to the sum of £7,097,287. Of those, 23 were from public authorities totalling £1,322,385 and 114 from community organisations totalling £5,774,902.

Find information on successful Community Choices Fund applicants from 2016 to 2017 in our archive.