Innovation Exchange

Youth Council Grants


Key activities

Benefits and impacts


The project used Participatory budgeting(PB) methodology to distribute grant funding  to groups representing young people, which had previously been determined solely by officers.

Theme: Community Planning and Empowerment

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Each of the four youth councils within the Outer Hebrides was allocated a grants fund to distribute using participatory budgeting. Each youth council took a slightly different approach and all successfully delivered the project.


Lewis Youth Council

The Event was held in the local Youth Centre.  Five Youth Groups were successful in being awarded a grant. Information on the PB fund was promoted through a variety of media including Facebook. Youth Council members engaged very effectively with the process.


Harris Youth Council

Event held in Sir E Scott School. Eligible Groups were identified and invited to apply. Four groups applied for funding  and three groups were successful in their applications. On the day the presentations were due to be made bad weather caused a school closure so the youth council found a different way (by creating information posters) to convey information regarding the projects to their peers, and people voted throughout their lunch hour. Eighty young people participated in the voting process using voting booths.



The PB process was discussed in depth by the Uist Youth Council. Young people in Liniclate school had been surveyed and the UYC group collated the results which highlighted the needs of young people in the area. The  Uist Youth Council (UYC) group drafted a letter to send to local youth groups to invite them to the PB event, detailing the funding application process as well as highlighting the expressed needs of young people in Uist. The group felt that the PB event could be run in conjunction with the Youth Café and they hosted the event in November 2015.


Barra Youth Council

Barra Youth Council ran a PB event called Cash4Youth. Two groups came forward with ideas and the Community Education Worker worked with both groups helping them with their presentation. This took place during school time and had all S1-S6 pupils (50) in assembly for this. Both groups spoke about why they thought they should get the funding and then all pupils took a vote.


All the youth councils reported that not only did they enjoy the process but they felt it was very beneficial to them. They felt they had control over how the grants were spent and that sometimes they chose differently to their Development Workers.


Engaging young people in the participatory budgeting process enables them to learn a wide range of skills that are useful in future participation and engagement.

Giving young people the control over the grants funds enabled them to determine themselves where money was allocated.

Young people enjoyed the process and want to do this again.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:


Erica Clarke

Community Learning and Development Officer

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

0845 6007090

Case study added to site: June 2016

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