Newtown residents are to have the chance to vote on how £20,000 of police cash will be used to support community projects.

A virtual event is to be held on July 11, when local people will be able to have their say on how the money will be shared out among groups in the town.

Half of the money is from a £140,000 pot allocated to 14 neighbourhood policing forces to spend in their communities in the Dyfed-Powys force area, with the rest generated by organisations around Newtown.

The town saw 21 bids come forward, worth a total of £62,000.

Superintendent Ifan Charles, force lead for participatory budgeting, said: “This is the first event of its kind we have held in Dyfed-Powys, and we were pleased with the high level of interest from groups in applying to take part.

“Organisations were required to show how their project could improve community safety and promote a healthier safer community in Newtown.

“We have 21 bids, with requests totalling £62,000 – however we only have £20,000 in the pot. The community will now decide which bids would be most beneficial for people living in the Newtown area.

“In doing it this way, we are giving people a greater say in how their community evolves.”

An online voting system has been set up to support the process.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “It is fantastic to see that a total of 21 bids have been submitted by community groups in the Newtown area for this funding opportunity. I have committed to fund this new and innovative approach to community funding as I think it’s vital that local residents have a say in how money is spent in their area.

“They are best placed to work with the police, and other partner agencies, to identify where the money is needed and what would most benefit the local communities.”

The funding pot in Newtown has been doubled to £20,000 with support from Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council, Mid Wales Housing, Wales and West Housing, and Newydd Housing.

Newtown NPT has worked with partners to establish the FLOW Newtown group - Funding Local Opportunities Working together - to work with community groups on the application process.

Supt Charles said: “We are looking forward to seeing the results of the vote, and finding out which projects will be able to support the community with their good work.

“Following the Newtown event, myself and Inspector Matthew Price will be carrying out training across the force so similar events can be carried out.

“Participatory budgeting has worked really well elsewhere and I’m excited to lead the introduction of this approach here.”