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Community-based projects fund launched

4 July 2005 Media Statement

Community-based projects fund launched

Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today the establishment of a Significant Community-Based Projects Fund and said that applications to it for funding will be accepted from October.

Helen Clark said $32 million over four years was allocated in the May budget for the fund. It has been established to support community-based projects and events of regional or national significance.

“This is a significant fund designed to help established organisations with legal entity status which, for a variety of reasons, cannot get funding for very large and worthwhile community projects,” Helen Clark said.

“There are an increasing number of major community-based projects which cannot be progressed, because either they cannot access appropriate funding, or the available funding is insufficient.

"The Lottery Grants Board continues to provide more than $100 million dollars a year to community projects, but on present lottery profits the board cannot also support very large grants for big capital projects. The board’s Lottery General Committee was once able to make grants of up to $4 million, for projects such as stadia. That committee no longer exists.

“The government is aware of a number of significant community projects which are looking to government to be a partner - and indeed where it is difficult to progress the projects without government being part of the funding partnership.

“This new fund is designed so that government can respond to such requests against clear criteria, rather than make ad hoc decisions about what should be funded.

“Applicants will need to demonstrate that the projects have a range of benefits contributing to regional and/or national outcomes, with particular reference to arts, culture and heritage; sport and recreation; tourism; conservation and the environment; and economic development.

“The fund will be seen as a mechanism to obtain support when all other avenues have been exhausted, and applicants would be limited to seeking one-off capital expenditure.

“In supporting projects in sectors such as the arts, heritage, tourism and conservation, the fund will serve to help define and strengthen us as a country, and help strengthen our communities. It will also help contribute to economic growth and prosperity,” Helen Clark said.

The fund will be administered by a secretariat in the Department of Internal Affairs. An interdepartmental advisory group will make recommendations on funding to Cabinet.

The advisory group will include the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, the Department of Conservation, Ministry of Tourism, and Sport and Recreation New Zealand.

ENDS

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