A PROPOSAL to change the Localities Bid Fund application process will be put to councillors on Thursday.

Round two of the public vote was scrapped earlier this month after only 28 projects applied for cash.

But a new set of rules have now been drawn up to take the scheme forward – which includes relaxing the entry criteria and allowing groups to put in for a maximum of £15,000.

Jenni Craig, SBC's service director of customer and communities said: "Draft proposals for alternative criteria have been discussed with elected members over the last few weeks... the proposed changes to the criteria are as follows: the fund will not be restricted to 'new' projects; the cap for constituted groups has been raised from £10k to £15k; staffing costs of 50 per cent of the total application will be considered (but cannot be used to supplement funding core staffing activity/time) and the fund will consider structural changes to buildings.

"It is also proposed that projects must demonstrate within the application form how they will: be inclusive and give everyone in the local community the opportunity to participate; be accessible to any members of the local community; make a difference and have an impact on the wider community; be deliverable within the costings provided; have appropriate permissions been obtained (i.e. planning permissions or building warrants have been considered and factored into project plans and costings); be sustainable if the project is intended to carry on past Localities Bid Funding; and have other funding requirements in place or in process if required."

If approved by councillors at Thursday's full meeting, it is expected that the fund would reopen for applications in January, assessment would take place in March, while the public vote would be in mid-April.

Successful applicants would then be notified in May.

Ms Craig added: "A second public survey will be conducted at the end of round two, along with feedback collated during the process, and this will be used in conjunction with the monitoring and evaluation from Localities Bid Funding round one to bring a full evaluation for members consideration in summer 2019."