LOCAL groups and individuals from the Three Towns are being given an opportunity to secure much needed funds - with almost £40,000 up for grabs.

North Ayrshire Council has confirmed that the Three Towns will be the latest area taking part when the hugely successful Participatory Budgeting events return again this year.

These events were first rolled out in 2016 – across the Council’s six localities - and proved hugely successful with a raft of groups receiving significant sums of money. And the process is underway in the Three Towns – culminating in ‘Decision Day’ on Saturday, March 24.

Applicants are invited to bid for up to £1,500 from a total pot of £34,234. Applications should demonstrate that funding would help improve at least one of the following in the Three Towns area: promoting the locality and encouraging tourism, promoting community regeneration, civic pride and community engagement and improving the physical environment An additional £5,000 is available from North Ayrshire Green Health Partnership for bids of up to £1,000. Bids should help improve nature-based activities in the Three Towns area (separate application available). Closing date for applications – which you can get by emailing participatorybudgeting@ north-ayrshire.gov.uk or phoning 01294 604612 - is March 8 at 5pm.

Those who are on the shortlist will be invited to Decision Day at Ardrossan Civic Centre, from 10.30-1pm, where they will make a bid for funding in a ‘marketplace’ format.

Local residents are invited to the event to decide which projects to fund.

They will vote for the projects that they believe will most benefit their community and support their local priorities.

Voting is open to anyone aged eight and over who lives, works or volunteers in the area.

Further information on all six of North Ayrshire’s localities and their priorities are available at www. northayrshire.community