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Grants and Funding

Council provides funding for agencies and community groups for projects, activities and events in the community that help support our long-term goals for the district. These can be one-off events or ongoing projects that help make Ashburton District a better place to live, work and play.

To be eligible, all projects and events must be located in the Ashburton District, be available to the wider community, and be organised or run by a non-profit organisation. Individuals can also apply for the Biodiversity Grant, Heritage Grant and the Creative Communities Scheme.

We only fund a maximum of 50% of the total project cost; however, voluntary contributions count towards the total – so make sure you explain these well.

If you have any questions or would like help applying for a grant, please email

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How funding works

We accept applications for Community Grants over the month of February, ahead of each financial year. This year, applications open on Thursday 1 February and must be completed and submitted before 5pm, Thursday 29 February.

Once the applications are received, Council assesses the applications against the criteria and decides how the funding should be allocated as part of the Annual Plan. When the Annual Plan is adopted at the end of June, so too, are the grants. This means we will let you know by the beginning of July whether your application was successful or not, with the funds paid out by mid-July.

All projects and events need to occur between the 1 July 2024 and 30 June 2025 period to be eligible – for example, you cannot apply in February for an event that is occurring in May that same year, it would need to occur after 1 July 2024.

Following this process, if there's still funding available for a specific grant, a second round of applications will be opened in August.

We administer these two funds on behalf of Creative Communities New Zealand and Sport NZ respectively.

You can apply for funding from these funds in March each year.

Creative Communities also has a second round in August of each year. For these two grants, if you are successful, you will receive the funds immediately following the committees’ decision. This will usually be 6-8 weeks following the application closing date.

Other financial assistance

Council may consider providing grant funding outside the schemes detailed above to assist with community projects considered to be of significant value to the Ashburton District community. These are dealt with on a case by case basis.

Council may consider requests for bridging finance or the guaranteeing of loans from community organisations undertaking projects of significant community benefit.

When applying you will need to include:

  • The project's contribution to the achievement of Council's community outcomes
  • The project's cost effectiveness
  • The reasons why other sources of funding are unavailable
  • Prudent fiscal history of the person or organisation making the application
  • The ability of the person / organisation applying to repay the loan(s)

Any applications will be analysed by a Council senior financial advisor and / or suitable advisor. The analysis may include the following:

  • The financial viability of the project
  • The financial position of the person / organisation making the application
  • Risks to Council in supporting the project and how these could be managed
  • Recommended compulsory conditions

Any bridging finance will be charged interest and any loans or guarantees Council provides may require a personal guarantee.

For further information on Council grants and funding, contact Council by email or phone (03) 307 7700.​

If your project doesn’t fit our categories or criteria, or you are in need of more funding, Generosity New Zealand's givUs database provides access to more than 1200 different grants for community organisations covering a wide range of project types from over 700 different funders across New Zealand.

Council provides free access to givUs. You can access it at home through the library page of our website (requires membership login) or in-person at the following locations:

Recent funding recipients