Ashburton District Council's community grants and funding processes are changing to make things easier for applicants. Three information seminars about these changes will be held in the next few weeks.
There are now 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 and memorial halls, reserves and community swimming pools, for minor enhancements like painting or planting.
The changes mean that applications for all community grants will open at the end of January and be available until 29 February 2016, but the funding will be allocated in July 2016 for the financial year. For the natural and built environment grants there will be another funding round in July/August but the other four categories only have the one application round.
These changes to the application timeframes are part of the Council's work to make the community grants and funding processes clearer, and enable the community funding to be included in the annual plan process. This means that individual approaches for funding to the annual plan process are no longer required by any community group as the annual plan process will instead focus on getting feedback from the community on Council's plans for its activities.
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.
Information seminars will be held to assist anyone wanting to make an application. The seminars will be held in the Council Chambers, 2 Baring Square East on Thursday 28 January 2016 at 5:30pm, and Thursday 4 February 2016 at 12pm or at 5:30pm.