IRVINE and Kilwinning youngsters turned out in force to help secure over £20,000 of funding for projects in their area during the latest round of youth participatory budgeting.

From Friday, February 2, until Friday, February 9, almost 7,000 young people, representing almost 50 per cent of those eligible, visited Young Scot’s online voting platform to decide how £50,000 should be allocated to youth projects across North Ayrshire.

The exercise formed part of the Council’s ‘Year of Young People’ (YoYP) 2018 programme and attracted funding applications based on one of the six YoYP themes of: culture; education; enterprise and regeneration; equality and discrimination; health and wellbeing; and participation.

Young people aged eight-25 were asked to rate projects available in their locality in order of preference.

And from the 70 projects in the running, 58 were successful in their bid - including 22 from Irvine and Kilwinning, such as Irvine Meadow Community Club, Greenwood Academy Duke of Edinburgh, North Ayrshire Amateur Swimming Club, Irvine Youth Group, Coastwatch Scotland Irvine, Kilwinning Community Events (Fireworks and Picnic in the Park), Kilwinning Artastic and Kilwinning Academy Parent Council.

North Ayrshire’s Youth Champion, Councillor Shaun Macaulay, said: “We’re delighted that so many young people from all over North Ayrshire got involved in this special PB event.

"They turned out in their thousands to decided how £50,000 should be spend on activities and events that celebrate this fantastic year for young people.

“We hope it was a fun and rewarding initiative for them all and we look forward to hearing how the money has helped enhance 2018 – the Year of Young People.”

The initiative was delivered in partnership with Young Scot, whose chief executive Louise Macdonald said: “North Ayrshire Council has embraced the values of the Year of Young People 2018 and put young people right at the heart of decision making.”