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New Community Group Grants scheme adopted by Council

12 July 2007

Christchurch City Council today adopted a new Community Group Grants Scheme designed to build and support strong communities.

Four new schemes will be introduced for 2008/09 financial year. These will provide a clearer, more structured and coherent alignment of community grants funding scheme and the Council’s strategic directions, strategies and priority areas of work to deliver the agreed outcomes under the Long Term Council Community Plan 2006-16, says Community Support Manager Catherine McDonald.

"This review of the grants scheme, as part of the Strengthening Communities Strategy, has also sought to address a concern with public confusion around the number of different schemes and also double-dipping by some organisations."

Under the draft proposal, five schemes were originally proposed. Allocated funding for Principal Organisations Fund was merged with the Strengthening Communities Fund, recognising the two had similar outcomes.

"The majority of the grants under the Strengthening Communities Fund will be for three years, providing community organisations with guaranteed funding to deliver their programmes and assist the Council is achieving its long-term Community Outcomes."

She says the Council has a proud history of supporting its community through such initiatives as its grant funding, which helps to build and support strong communities with robust social cohesion and high levels of engagement and participation in the community.

The four new schemes will annually distribute $8.312 million in grants to community, voluntary and not-for-profit agencies, groups and organisations.

The new schemes are:

  • Strengthening Communities Fund ($6.82 million)
    • For activities and initiatives which contribute to community connectedness, social cohesion and social inclusion.
    • Majority of grants will be three-year key relationship contracts. Annual contracts will also be available.
    • An annual contestable round of funding.
  • Small Projects Fund ($932,000)
    • For grants up to $5000.
    • The two categories for funding will be community development and sport and recreation.
    • An annual contestable round of funding.
  • Discretionary Response Fund ($560,000)
    • For new projects that did not apply to other annual funding rounds.
    • For emergency funding for unforeseen situations.
    • For grants up to $15,000.
    • The fund will have no closing date, closing each year when funding is exhausted.
    • It can not be used for "second-bite" funding if a project has been declined during other Council annual funding rounds.
  • Community Loan Scheme (Funding will vary, depending on loan repayments)
    • Continuation of current scheme.
    • Low-interest loans for capital works.
    • Two annual contestable rounds.

Mrs McDonald says full details of the new criteria, information requirements and accountabilities for each of the schemes are expected to be finalised by the end of September.

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