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Participatory Budgeting: Open, Empowered and Accessible

As part of the Scottish Government's commitment to community empowerment it uses participatory budgeting (PB) to give people a direct say in how and where local money is spent.

What Next for Participatory Budgeting?

In May 2019 the government released its first report on the first generation of participatory budgeting in Scotland.  PB has the potential to help individuals feel connected to each other and their communities whilst instilling a sense of ownership, trust and connectivity. However, a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges is required to ensure the process meets local priorities effectively whilst adhering to budgeting constraints.

Join Holyrood as we explore best practice and learn how you can effectively facilitate PB in your service.

This event will bring together expert speakers and delegates from community development, engagement and planning backgrounds to better understand the opportunities and challenges presented through the process of PB, and how to effectively manage them.

Key issues we'll explore with you

  • Current policy landscape and next steps for PB
  • How to utilise the Community Choices Fund
  • The impact of PB on local services and local communities
  • Building capacity and competence for meaningful and sustainable participation within communities, local authorities and partnerships
  • Strategic engagement within 1%
  • Tackling inequalities through PB to ensure that all voices within a given community are represented.
  • Learning from and sharing good practice of PB from across Scotland

Who should attend?

This briefing will be of most benefit to those working in community planning and engagement and local government financing:

  • Community engagement, development and planning officers
  • Area and regional managers
  • Business improvement and development teams
  • Local advocacy and outreach personnel working in charities and third sector organisations
  • Finance, accounting and facilities management teams
  • Councillors

Would You Like to Speak at Our Event

Do you have an inspiring case study or a project that you think is relevant? Please do not hesitate to get in touch as we're always on the lookout for new speakers and case studies. Contact


09:15 Registration and refreshments

10:00 Opening remarks from the chair

Peter McColl

Independent Consultant

10:05 Session 1: Policy and Overview

Evaluating Participatory Budgeting Activity in Scotland

  • Building on the 2019 report, where now?
  • Looking forward to Phase 3
  • Investing in Communities Fund.

11:00 Refreshments and Networking

11:30 Session 2: Protecting Equalities whilst implementing Participatory Budgeting

  • Empowering hard to reach demographics/populations to get involved
  • Towards a digital tool for access
  • The role of the Citizens Assembly in Participatory Budgeting

Katey Tabner, Social Inclusion Officer (Participatory Budgeting), COSLA

Jez Hall, Director, Shared Future

12:15 Panel Discussion, Protecting Equalities

13:10 Lunch and Networking

14:15 Session 3: Learning From and Sharing Best Practice

Examples from 3 local authorities for success in PB 

15:00 Interactive Discussions 

Delegates will divide into small groups to discuss experiences of participatory budgeting from your own work and organisation. This is an opportunity to think about what next steps can be taken to share best practice, problems and solutions and give examples of how you included hard to reach demographics in your project.

15:40 Closing Remarks from Chair

Peter McColl

Independent Consultant

15:45 Close of Event

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19 Mar 2020
Central Edinburgh
Reduced Rate
1 place £145+ VAT

Voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m

Standard Rate
1 place £245+ VAT | 2+ places £195+ VAT per place

Public sector organisations and voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m

Private Sector Rate
1 place £295+VAT | 2+ places £245+ VAT per place

Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP

Book now

Please ensure you have reviewed both the Privacy Notice and Terms and Conditions for Delegates before registering.

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The wide range of speakers, combined with a varied selection of workshops, means that everyone will find something that is relevant to their organisation's needs, and the broad appeal of the agenda provides a great mix of people for networking and sharing ideas across sectors.

Paul Stones, Depute Head, Mariner Support Service Feedback from delegate, who attended Holyrood's Learning Through Technology 2017 event
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