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.​

How it works

Community grants

​You are able to apply for funding from our Community Grants in February each year. 
Once the applications are received, the Community Grants and Funding Subcommittee assesses the applications and makes recommendations to Council on how much funding should be allocated to the grants as part of the Annual Plan. When the Annual Plan is adopted at the end of June, so too, are the grants.

You will find out 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 following 1 July and 30 June 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 be occurring post 1 July.

Creative Communities Scheme and Sport NZ Rural Travel Fund

We administer these two funds on behalf of Creative Communities New Zealand and Sport NZ respectively. You can apply for funding from these two 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.

Report forms
All successful applicants are required to report back to Council on how the grant money was spent and whether the project/event was successful. Reporting forms need to be completed by 31 July, or before applying for further funding, whichever is earlier. See the links below for report forms.

If the funds have not been spent when the next funding round occurs and you would like to make another application, please complete the report form as much as possible, and let us know how and when you intend to spend the rest of the grant funds.

For the agency and sport development reporting forms, please contact

Our grants
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 only apply for the Biodiversity and Heritage grants. Creative Communities Scheme also accepts individuals.

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.

The next round of grants opens in February 2020, with all grants open for applications, except Creative Communities Scheme and Sport NZ Rural Travel Fund which open in March 2020.

Please see below for a brief description of each grant and eligibility criteria. 

Application forms will be available on this page once the grants have opened.
See here for the previous Community Grant Recipients 2019-20

Arts & Culture

Community Library Grant

The community library grant is for independently operated community libraries, specifically, Methven, Mt Somers, and Rakaia libraries. These three libraries can apply for funding to go towards the purchase or preservation of reading material.
Creative Communities Scheme

Individuals and groups can apply for funding towards their art projects. This includes projects that relate to craft / object art, literature, visual arts, dance, music, film, theatre, Ngā toi Māori, and Pacific arts. The project can be in the form of an exhibition, performance, workshop or simply about creation. 

Community Development

Community Agencies Grant

Any community organisation can apply for funding towards operational costs, including rent or salaries. Please contact​ for further information. 

Community Project Grant

The project grant is for funding towards a specific one-off project.

Economic Development

Community Events Grant

The events grant is to support new events and / or to build the capacity of existing events in the district. For an event to be eligible, the event must be smoke-free, promote sun-smart initiatives, and be working towards zero-waste.

Council funding can only be used for promoting the event, traffic management plans, and waste management measures.

Natural & Built Environment 

Biodiversity Grant

The biodiversity grant is for projects that aim to protect, maintain or restore biodiversity.

The grant is open twice a year; in February along with the other Community grants, and then again in August.

Community Infrastructure Grant

​The community infrastructure grant is for the development or maintenance of infrastructure available for community use. Eligible infrastructure includes memorial halls, community halls, reserve boards and community pools.

Heritage Grant

The heritage grant is for buildings or items scheduled in Group A or Group B of the Ashburton District Plan. The funding must be used for specialised maintenance such as replacing cladding or fittings that preserve or restore the heritage state of the building or item.

The grant is open twice a year; in February along with the other Community grants, and then again in August.

Sport & Recreation 

School Holiday Programme Grant

To be eligible, the school holiday programme must cater for children aged between 5 and 14 years.

Sport Development Grant

The sport development grant is for any community organisation who aims to increase participation in sport activities across the Ashburton District. Funds can go towards operational costs, including rent or salaries. 

Projects, such as improvements to sport clubrooms, should apply under the Community Project grant.​

Sport NZ Rural Travel Fund

We administer this grant on behalf of Sport New Zealand. Applications are open across the month of March.

The purpose of the fund is to help subsidise travel for junior teams participating in local sport competitions. Sports clubs and school teams with young people aged between 5 and 19 years can apply. 

Other funding options

If your project doesn’t fit our categories or criteria, or you are in need of more funding, givUS 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 Generosity New Zealand's givUs database, a computer database of information about funding sources for community groups in New Zealand. You can access it at home through the library page of our website (requires membership login) or at the following locations:
  • Ashburton Public Library
  • Community House Mid Canterbury
  • Methven i-SITE

Other financial assistance 

Extraordinary grant funding

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.

​Loans and guarantees

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.​
Page reviewed: 09 Jan 2020 2:00pm