Participatory budgeting

'Food Glorious Food'

Midlothian Council and NHS Lothian jointly allocated a total of £48,000 for the 'Food Glorious Food' project in 3 areas:

  • Gorebridge
  • Woodburn / Dalkeith
  • Mayfield and Easthouses.

Each area had a budget of £16,000 that was allocated using Participatory Budgeting methods.  The projects supported community based groups working to improve health and wellbeing by promoting healthy eating, community growing schemes and other activities to do with food.

Steering Groups, consisting of local community members, developed the process. They were supported by Midlothian Council’s Communities Team.  They promoted the ‘Food Glorious Food’ project, developed the applications process, and organised the decision-making events within their local areas.

Decision making events

An important element of the project was that local people should discuss, deliberate and decide which project should receive funding, then allocate resources for groups within their communities.

In each area, a decision-making event was held. Local people met representatives of the groups applying for funding.  They found out more about the projects, made informed decisions, and were asked to vote for 3 projects.

The events enabled people to meet and find out more about what was going on in their area, what services were being provided, and what volunteering opportunities were available.

Around 600 people attended the events, with 473 people each voting for 3 projects to be funded. In total, 32 projects received funding. 

Funded projects

Across the 3 locations, 38 groups submitted applications.


  • At a boys football club In Gorebridge, fresh water dispensers were installed to reduce consumption of fizzy drinks.
  • Resources for the development of a community garden in Gorebridge.
  • Healthy cooking classes for children in Mayfield and Gorebridge.


  • Midlothian Women’s Aid ran a project providing fresh food, fruit and vegetables to women and children on admission to the refuge, and to deliver a healthy eating workshop and cooking class.
  • The Grassy Riggs project bought a Smoothie Bike to promote physical activity while making nutritious smoothies, and to purchase fruit, yoghurt and fruit juices.


  • The ‘healthy families in the holidays’ project ran family-focussed activities during the summer holidays. Many families who used the project were from low household incomes. Family members worked together, developing skills and knowledge in preparing and cooking healthy nutritious food, and reducing ‘holiday hunger’.

More information

Call Communities Officer, Paul Johnson, on 0131 270 6744 or email