Residents voice their choices

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ALMOST £75,000 is to be pumped into more than a dozen community projects across the Scarborough rural area after residents cast their votes in a “Voice Your Choice” event.

Hundreds of people scored their favourite projects at two decision events held earlier in the month at Ayton Village Hall and Scarborough Rugby Club, with 14 projects securing funding as a result.

A total of 29 community groups and organisations had applied for a share of the pot, put together by Scarborough Council and North Yorkshire County Council. Around 800 people participated at the two events.

Among the biggest winners were St Martin’s Church in Seamer, which was awarded £10,000 to contribute towards building repairs, Brompton-by-Sawdon Village Hall, which received £9,668 to renovate its toilet facilities, and Seamer Methodist Church, which was given £8,500 to provide disabled facilities including toilets and a ramp.

Chairman of the Voice Your Choice sub-committee Cllr David Jeffels said: “The response exceeded all expectations and we are delighted that such a wide range of projects are going to benefit from the funding,” he said.

“By coincidence, they appear to equally fall into helping very young children and older people, and a good number which will improve the quality of life for many others in between.

“The keen interest generated by village communities in encouraging people to vote was genuine proof that rural life is thriving and it would be good to think that in the future a similar exercise could be carried out.

“We do thank everyone who took part and the enthusiasm they generated and we now look forward to seeing the various projects becoming a reality.”

The events featured a number of stands and exhibits from various organisations to champion their cause for financial support.

The projects and the voters were all from the Scarborough rural area wards, which covers the parishes of East Ayton, West Ayton, Seamer, Irton, Brompton-by-Sawdon, Wykeham, Snainton, Hackness, Newby and Scalby, Burniston, Cloughton,

Staintondale and Ravenscar.

The money was awarded to the successful bidders under the principles of participatory budgeting which meant that residents who live in the Scarborough rural area and were 11 or older were allowed to take part in the voting process by scoring each project out of five.

Representatives from all the winning projects have been invited to a celebration evening to take place at the Town Hall on Tuesday March 1.