Agenda item


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1.0      Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1       The purpose of this report is to:


·        Seek approval for use of Belfast City Council’s (BCC) allocation of £90,000 to support Active Belfast Partnership (ABP) in 2023/24 to deliver the programme of activity detailed in the report

·        Update members on delivery of the first Participatory Budgeting (PB) programme delivered through the Active Belfast Partnership


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The committee is asked to:


·        Approve the use of the BCC allocation of £90,000 to support ABP in 2023/24 to deliver the programme of activity detailed in the report.

·        Note the update in relation to delivery of the first Participatory Budgeting (PB) programme delivered through the Active Belfast Partnership


3.0       Main report




3.1       Active Belfast Partnership is a multi-agency partnership supporting physical activity and healthy eating in Belfast. It is jointly funded by BCC (£90,000) and Public Health Agency (PHA). PHA advised on 19th July that they were applying a 3.54% uplift to their allocation for 2023/24 providing £181,141. The BCC contribution remains at £90,000 which means the total budget for 2023/24 is £271,141. Physical activity and healthy eating remain priority areas within the refreshed Belfast Agenda as well as wider health-focussed strategic documents. AB therefore, both as an approach and as a partnership, plays a vital role in facilitating collaboration with key partners to take forward relevant and novel approaches.


3.2       Members may note that in January 2023 approval was given for the Active Belfast Partnership to use £64,000 of the 2023/24 budget to allocate funding awards made through its Participatory Budgeting programme for the delivery of activity in 2023/24. (£26,000 from BCC and £38,000 from PHA). At that time officers advised that a planning session to identify and agree priorities for 2023/24, alongside associated spend profiles would be held early in 2023 and that committee would receive an update following that meeting. However, due to the absence of key staff the meeting did not take place until May 2023 and the tabling of this report was delayed as a result.


3.3       In the interim, SP&R committee considered what level of Council contribution would be directed to support micro-medium grants in June 2023 as part of the spending review. The 2023/24 allocation from Active Belfast of £79,940.00 was included in this discussion and has been included in the overall budget for these awards.


3.4       Proposed Active Belfast 2-23/24 Budget Profile


            The table below lists the recommended allocation for 2023/24 following discussions with partners. The PHA uplift which was made available on 19th July has not been reflected in this table and ABP will agree the allocation of this uplift at its next meeting. The rationale for supporting listed projects is as follows;


            Previously agreed by BCC for 2023/24;


·        PB Project – spend approved in January 2023 to support delivery of this programme which has testedmore participative and innovative methods of engaging citizens in programme delivery. Allocations have been made through the ‘Move more, eat well to feel better’ brand.

·        Micro-Medium Grants – Given the level of demand for these projects, the quality of applications and number supporting AB priorities there was agreement from partners that supporting these grants would support delivery of AB outcomes. The BCC AB contribution was accepted as part of the allocation of funds by SP&R in June 2023.


3.5       Elements to be agreed by BCC for 2023/24;


·        Jog Belfast – This would represent the same amount of funding allocated for 22/23. Allocation of funding will support 7 sites across the City of Belfast, within North, South, West and East to deliver 3 programmes across the year. The Jog Belfast model, and how it is resourced going forward, will be a priority item for consideration by members of the ABP in 23/24

·        Active Belfast Innovation Projects – Partners are developing proposals that will support innovative practice and the financial resource listed in the table is requested to support delivery.

·        Resources/Training – This budget is requested to enhance the technical support that is provided by Community Places in relation to delivery of the PB project.


Proposed Expenditure 2023/24




Micro-Medium grants

£ 39,970.00


£ 39,970.00

£ 79,940.00

Partnership innovation projects




Pilot Participatory funding


£ 26,000.00


£ 38,000.00


£ 64,000.00


Business continuity

Jog Belfast (£42000 - 7 sites x 3)

£  9,133.00

 £ 32,867.00

 £ 42,000.00

Active Belfast Innovation Projects

£ 14,457.60

 £ 30,371.60

 £ 44,829.20


£ 439.40

£  4,791.40

 £  5,230.80

Total expenditure

£ 90,000.00

 £ 146,000.00

 £  236,000.00 










3.6       Update on the Participatory Budgeting (PB) pilot


            Members may wish to note the following update in relation to the PB programme.


            The Move More and Eat Well to Feel Better Participatory Budgeting (PB) pilot, offered local groups the opportunity to apply for up to £1000 to fund projects that would help people in their local area to move more and eat well. Unlike other grant applications, with PB the people of Belfast got to decide which projects got funded by voting for the projects they would like to see happen in their area.


·        46 applications were received (1 was ineligible)

·        31 applicants were constituted, 15 were non constituted

·        4 voting/ decision making events took place. Three were held in venues across the city, one was held online. A total of 2497 voters cast 11,715 valid votes

·        27 projects were successful, 19 were delivered by constituted groups, 8 by non-constituted groups. There was a good spread of successful projects across the city.

·        A celebration event which will be attended by all groups will take place in City Hall on 22 November 23.


            Up to date information on the initiative can be found at:



            Financial and Human Resource Implications


3.7       All activity outlined in this report can be delivered within existing budgets.


3.8       Staff from within the Belfast Health Development Unit (BHDU) will continue to lead on this work. Oversight will be provided at organisational level by Nicola Lane within BCC and David Tumilty within PHA, as well as at a partnership/thematic level with the stakeholders involved in the ABP.


            Equality or Good Relations/Rural Needs Assessment


3.9       The Participatory Budgeting programme has been equality screened and all other activity will be delivered with due regard to any equality/good relations and rural needs considerations.”


            The Committee:


·        approved the use of the Belfast City Council allocation of £90,000 to support Active Belfast Partnership in 2023/24 to deliver the programme of activity detailed in the report; and

·        noted the update in relation to the delivery of the first Participatory Budgeting (PB) programme delivered through the Active Belfast Partnership.


Supporting documents: