Community projects get boost from Council grants

14/10/2015 10:30 a.m.

Thirty-one groups have been given a boost by the Ashburton District Council's annual Community Grant and School Holiday Programme Grant.

One of the 26 groups that was allocated a Community Grant was the McClimonts Green Development Committee, which was given $5000 to assist with its planned "Information Station" at the Mount Somers Village Green.

Committee Chairman John Chapman said the Information Station (on the old railway reserve) will provide visitors with local information on topics such as accommodation, food and services; maps; details about tracks, huts and historical sites; and displays about the area's history and geology.

The small, rural Mount Somers community bought the Village Green about 10 years ago. In 2009 a substantial landscaping project was completed that created an area that reflected the local mining history, as well as the geology and plants from Mount Somers down to the braided rivers.

"Thousands of hours went into that initial project and we had the generous support of local businesses and contractors who donated machinery and materials to help us achieve it," Mr Chapman said.

"The Information Station will complete our project. It's certainly more than the usual kiosk - we hope that the Green and Information Station will become a destination in its own right.

"This project has embraced conservation, educational, artistic and heritage values. It's been an ambitious effort for a small community, but a rewarding one. We are well on the way with this final part. Our architect has prepared an exciting design and a substantial part of the fundraising is in hand," Mr Chapman said.

The group hopes to have the project completed in mid 2016.

Another successful Community Grant applicant was the Staveley Hall Society, which will install bifold doors in the hall foyer, using a $2000 grant from the Council.

"The hall is open every day so members of the public and customers of the Staveley Store can access the toilets," Staveley Hall Society Secretary/Treasurer Jenny Barnaby said.

"Sometimes while the hall is in use, interruptions are experienced from people walking to and from the toilets. If bifold doors are installed, this will allow groups using the hall some privacy."

The hall has been in the community since 1890 and is available for hire for a wide range of activities, Mrs Barnaby said.

The Community Grant is for community organisations undertaking projects that contribute to the wellbeing of the community. $50,000 was shared between the 26 groups.

The School Holiday Programme Grant is for organisations providing school holiday programmes, preferably for children aged 5 to 14. $4600 was allocated to five groups.

Page reviewed: 14 Oct 2015 12:55pm