Aberdeenshire councillors have taken advantage of an increase in funds available for local groups to hand £15,000 to a community organisation.
The Garioch area committee was asked to give £10,000 to the Garioch Rural Partnership from its budget – but instead decided to increase the amount by £5,000.
The councillors have £104,500 in their reserves for the 2016-17 financial year after the local authority agreed to boost its area committee’s budgets.
The increase was announced on Aberdeenshire Council’s February 11 budget day despite the local authority being forced to make £28million of spending cuts.
Councillors also implemented changes to their area committee budget criteria for 2016-17 to allow for the maximum payment for any group to be increased from £10,000 “if the committee agrees it to be of strategic significance”.
Vice-chairman of the committee, Martin Ford, said: “The budget is bigger, we can actually do more serious things with that amount of money.
“The area committee ought to consider whether there are other things they can do.”
Council co-leader and independent Inverurie and District councillor, Martin Kitts-Hayes, made the call to offer up more funds to the GRP and other local groups.
Aberdeenshire Provost and SNP councillor, Hamish Vernal, added: “I fully support that idea. I think we can do more to be proactive, not withstanding the good work that is being done.”