Earlier this year our Council’s Communities Committee allocated significant funding to participatory budgeting (PB) with the aim of funding projects across the region which will tackle the causes and effects of poverty in the region. 

The funding was allocated in September and since then work has been ongoing with the regions Tackling Poverty Reference Group to create a specific PB Steering Group to drive the PB process forward. The Steering Group was established in October and comprises representatives from those affected by poverty, Chair/Vice Chair of Communities Committee and DGC PB Manager as interim Chair of the Steering Group. As the process and Steering group develop there will be the opportunity to invite onto the group professional advisors where specialist support is required and representation from the Third Sector in situations where their knowledge and experience would add value to the group and the process.

The group have been given the mandate of distributing the £240,000 of Tackling Poverty funding through a participatory budgeting approach to support projects within communities which would look to deliver one or all of the following outcomes:

  •          Seek to improve the signposting of support and advice,
  •          Reduce barriers to communication and information sharing,
  •          Create sustainable support and information sharing,
  •          Create opportunities to bridge gaps in provision across geographic areas.

The application stage is about to go live. The launch of the application process will be supported by a series of press releases in local press across the region, and a presence on the dumgal.gov.uk Tackling Poverty page.

The Steering Group has agreed that the funding will be allocated on a geographic basis across our four  areas, with the actual sums being determined using the existing formula which is based on population size and SIMD information. Therefore, the funds will be allocated as follows:

Geographic Area

Funding Formula %

Funding Allocated to the Area

Annandale & Eskdale












Total Fund - £240,000

The group has also agreed that in an attempt to attract as many projects as possible in each area, the maximum amount applied for will be set at £20,000 per application. However, should community groups or organisation look to create a project which will be delivered across two or more geographic areas they can then apply to each relevant fund in each geographic area.

The application process went live on Friday 24th November and has a closing date of midnight on Thursday 21st December 2017. Any applications received after this time will not be accepted. Application forms can be accessed, completed and submitted electronically via the Dumgal Tackling Poverty webpage. Hard copy applications will be available on request through and enquiry to the dedicated PBMailbox@dumgal.gov.uk .

After the application process concludes, the Steering Group will review all of the applications to ensure that applications put forward to a public vote are fit for purpose and look to improve one or more of the outcomes above. We have at this stage no indication on how many applications will be received, but we hope that the return will be good.

To determine which projects get funded, we will be holding four public voting events early next year; Saturday 10th & Saturday 17th February. Events in The Stewartry (Dalbeattie Learning Campus) and Annandale & Eskdale (Lochmaben Primary School) will be on Saturday 10th February, with Nithsdale (Dumfries Academy) and Wigtown (Glenluce Town Hall) on the 17th February.

When it comes to designing public voting events there are generally two types; a ‘dragon’s den’ approach and a marketplace event. The dragons den type approach unfortunately restricts the number of people who can actually vote at an event as the audience must be in the room when the project pitches are being made. Therefore the number of people who can participate and vote is restricted by the capacity of the venue. The marketplace approach allows projects to set up stalls to display their proposal and the voters then circulate around the hall and then cast their vote before they leave. This ensures a regular turn-over of people and enables more people to participate and eliminates any maximum capacity issues. 

If you have any questions please contact Colin Freeman; DGC PB Manager PBMailbox@dumgal.gov.uk