It's time for Western Bay groups to start putting together their applications for the chance at a slice of two community funds.
Applications for Western Bay of Plenty District Council's Community Matching Fund and Facilities in the Community Fund are now open.
The Community Matching Fund has $140,000 up for grabs, which includes $40,000 for environmental projects and $100,000 for general projects that make a positive difference for the Western Bay community.
The only catch - groups will need to ‘match' the cash grant they're seeking from Council– be it in volunteer hours, cash, or in-kind contributions.
This year $74,000 is also available from the Facilities in the Community Fund which is aimed specifically at developing or upgrading recreational facilities that are available for public use on non-public land.
The facility must be in response to population growth in the area.
Council's community manager David Pearce says the two funds provide a much-needed financial boost to get community projects over the line, especially at a time when many not-for-profit groups have been hit hard financially due to Covid-19.
'It's a tough time at the moment and there are so many great projects waiting for that last piece of the puzzle.
'Over the years we've seen some amazing projects come to life with help from these two funds, and we encourage all Western Bay community groups and organisations to take up this opportunity - it might be just what you need to make your project happen.”
Last year Council funded 35 groups as part of the Community Matching Fund - among these was the Waihī Beach Environment Society Dot Watch, who received $4620, to create awareness about the plight of the Northern NZ Dotterel at Waihī Beach.
Group coordinator Pippa Coombes says their goal is to protect these highly endangered native birds from extinction.
'Without the funding provided by the Council, we would not be in the position we are in going into the 2023 season - fully equipped to deal with everything that is thrown at these birds. We, as an organisation, could not be more grateful,” says Pippa.
Te Puna School also received funding in 2021 to help create a community bike and scooter pump track at the school.
PTA chair Alexia Skipper-Jones says the grant enabled the school to complete the track to a higher standard with an asphalt surface for all-wheel fun.
"Since the track opened last month, it has been busy every day, keeping our tamariki and rangatahi active and engaged in a safe and positive environment,” says Alexia.
'It's also providing a space for the many community groups in the area to use as a venue for events and gatherings.”
Council will be hosting information sessions to provide advice and assistance on the application process.
-Te Puke Library Monday, May 9, 12pm-2pm
-Ōmokoroa Library Tuesday, May 10, 12pm-2pm.
-Pātuki Manawa (Katikati Library) Wednesday, May 11, 12pm-2pm
-Waihī Beach Library Thursday, May 12, 12pm-2pm
The Facilities in the Community Fund runs every two years, with the last round in 2018. In 2020 both funds were incorporated into the $300,000 Community Resilience Fund for groups affected by Covid-19.
Groups can apply for both funds online through Council's website. Forms, further information and eligibility criteria are available online at www.westernbay.govt.nz/grants.
Applications close Tuesday, May 31, 2022.