MORE than 65 Kilwinning kids are facing being “put out on the street” after their youth club lost out on a funding bid. 

Nethermains Youth Club in Blacklands has closed its doors after losing out on cash from the Participatory Budget last week. 

Margaret Ralston, who runs the youth club inside the Nethermains Community Centre says it usually runs from September to the end of March, but she has had to close early because she has no money to keep going after being one of the eight community group who did not receive funding from the Participatory Budget. 

Margaret says if she doesn’t find funding from somewhere, she will be unable to reopen again in September. 

She told the Times: “It’s disappointing that we didn’t get funding.

“I have had to close three weeks early which means there is 65 kids out on the streets every Thursday night now, instead of being indoors, safe and having fun. 

“I know the Participatory Budget is decided by votes and we obviously didn’t get enough, but I just don’t think that is the fairest way to do it. 

“There were 25 community groups who entered and only 17 got funding. 

“If they have a certain amount of money why not just split it evenly between the 25 groups then everyone is getting a share from the pot. 

“It actually cost me money to go along to the event, for banners and stuff to set up our stall, so to find out we didn’t get a penny was upsetting. News that the Youth Club has closed early has left the kids with nowhere to go and Margaret says she fears for the future of the club. 

She said: “I’m not bitter and I don’t think our club deserved it more than any of the others, but we are disappointed we didn’t receive anything at all and the knock on effect is that we have had to close early and I don’t know if I will be able to open again at all in September.” 

Decision day for the Participatory Budget was held last week in Kilwinning Campus of Ayrshire College and saw 17 groups sharing £22,791. 

More than 600 local people turned out to the event to have a say on how the funding was shared, voting for those they felt were most deserving and would improve at least one of the following in Kilwinning. 

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “We try and make our Participatory Budgeting events as fair as possible and give each and every one of the groups the same platform to deliver their message. 

“Ultimately it comes down to the public choice and we have to respect that. 

“The council provides considerable support to Nethermains Youth Group including Nurturing Excellence grants.” 

The council spokesperson added: “Our grants team offer support to all groups who are unsuccessful in Participatory Budget applications and will be in touch with Nethermains Community Association to see if we can assist them further.”