North East residents invited to have their say and help local groups in their community get support for green projects via an online vote
The public vote for year 2 of the Just Transition PB Fund is underway and North East residents are being invited to have their say over which projects they think should receive a share of the £1.5million made available for the region.
A separate vote is taking place in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray, with each area allocated an equal share of the funding pot, resulting in £500,000 being made available to support innovative projects within each locality.
Following the application process, which opened earlier this year, over 70 local eco-friendly projects have been entered into the vote. Now, residents are being offered the unique opportunity to decide what they want to see supported in their area and be part of the process to help groups in their community secure funds, by voting online via the Just Transition PB Fund website at www.jtpbfund.scot/vote
The Just Transition PB Fund is part of the Scottish Government’s ten-year, £500 million Just Transition Capital Fund, aimed at supporting the Northeast’s journey to a net-zero economy, which was unveiled in 2022. The PB Fund follows the process of participatory budgeting, where the emphasis is placed on community engagement and empowering local people to be an active part of the funding and decision-making process.
All projects taking part in the process have sustainability at the core and allow grassroots organisations to purchase much needed equipment, pay for repairs and upgrades to community facilities or create new initiatives aimed at bringing communities together. This comes at a time when budgets for many third sector and community organisations are being stretched, so the impact of the fund lies with it’s ability to inject money for resources where it is needed, all while facilitating the implementation of more eco-friendly, sustainable and cost effective solutions.
The Fund is being delivered in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire by the two third sector interfaces (TSIs) for each respective locality, ACVO and Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action, in partnership with Northeast Scotland’s Climate Action Network (NESCAN Hub). In Moray, tsiMoray are running the programme in partnership with voluntary led organisation, Money for Moray.
About the vote, Maggie Hepburn, Chief Executive at ACVO TSI said “We were really pleased to receive so many fantastic applications for local and impactful green projects once again this year. The public vote is a really exciting part of the process and I would like to encourage everyone to take the time to find out more about these projects and have their say over what they think should receive funds in their area.
“Your voice matters and your votes can make a huge difference to organisations and communities in the North East.”
Last year, several initiatives were supported by the Fund including projects led by organisations such as Somebody Cares, Friends of Westfield Park, Aberdeen Science Centre and Greyhope Bay, within the Aberdeen City region.
Under the scheme, North East Sensory Services (NESS) were granted funds to purchase a new electric vehicle to replace their diesel van which had reached the end of its life cycle.
Reflecting on the success of the bid, Caroline Rutherford, Fundraising Manager at NESS said “Our organisation support a wide range of people in the North East with severe sight and or hearing loss – one group in particular is our Young Persons Sensory Service group that runs a full schedule of activities during the school holidays, taking our young people out on supported trips and fun days. This helps immensely with their confidence, independence and social skills and having a vehicle to enable this programme is vital.
“Maintenance costs with our old people carrier were starting to ramp up and we know this electric vehicle will reduce our carbon footprint but it will also significantly reduce our running costs which is important to us as a charity. It was such a good feeling to know that the public got behind our idea and we would like to extend our thanks to everyone that voted for us.”
Gillian Martin, MSP, Minister for Energy and the Environment, commented “It was great to see so many fantastic local projects benefit from the first round of Just Transition funding. These funds are key to communities realising their ambitions to reduce their carbon footprint and making a major contribution in the Northeast to reaching the Scottish Net Zero targets that are the most ambitious in Europe”
Voting is open to North East residents of all ages with an Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire or Moray postcode and can be done via a simple online form found at https://www.jtpbfund.scot/vote . Details of all the local projects put forward for funding this year can also be found at this link.
Voting closes at 5pm on Friday 13th October with results being announced at the end of the month. Have your say and make a difference in your local community!