Changes to Ashburton District Council's community grants and funding process mean that applications for funding will need to be made in February or March 2016. The funding will be approved or declined in July 2016.
Information evenings will be held in early 2016 to assist anyone wanting to make an application.
The changes to the application timeframes are part of ADC's work to make the community grants and funding process clearer.
A new decision-making body, the Community Grants and Funding Subcommittee, was established in October 2015 to oversee the process. It replaces the former structure of six subcommittees, a liaison group and the Council.
Subcommittee Chairperson Cr Martin Nordqvist said the group had made some changes to improve transparency and accountability, relating to the allocation of grants and funding.
There will be five funding categories for all community grants. These are arts and culture; sports and recreation; economic development and events; community projects; and natural and built environment.
The natural and built environment category covers heritage and biodiversity grants and includes community facilities such as community halls, memorial halls and community swimming pools, for minor enhancements like painting or plantings.
"This category will accommodate community projects that don't necessarily fit other categories but involve minor work to enhance community facilities," Mr Nordqvist said. "Any major structural work requiring a consent will not be included."
During 2015/16, the Council will spend more than $1.3 million on grants and funding for organisations that are extending their reach into the community and supporting community wellbeing.