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Emergency Grant Funding Awarded To Community Organisations

Today’s Planning, Finance and Community Committee allocated emergency funding to a range of Marlborough community organisations to help them get through the COVID-19 crisis.

The organisations who applied included Marlborough Heritage Centre, the Geisen Centre, Endeavour Park Pavilion, the Youth Hub, Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, the Millennium Art Gallery, Stadium 2000 and the Marlborough Civic Theatre. Eighty applications were received in all, with the total requested at $920,719.40.

In April councillors had agreed to establish a Community Facilities emergency budget of up to $1 million and also increased the Community Grants budget from $300,000 to $500,000, both funded from the Emergency Events Reserve.

Committee Chairman Mark Peters said the Council’s Grant’s Committee had been fair and consistent in its deliberations, and had agreed to apply a standard 75% allocation to all the eligible funding requests.

“It’s really important that our treasured Marlborough community facilities and organisations can keep the lights on and get through the impacts of the recent lockdown. Council has a solid balance sheet and very sensibly set aside funds for crises of this kind in our Emergency Events Reserve.”

“I’m pleased to say we are able to step in and help our community organisations get through this very challenging period.”

The Grants Sub-committee met on 29 May and allocated 68 grants totalling $374,072.00. This leaves a balance of $125,928 to allocate in Round 2.

Funds are awarded to cover operating costs where organisations can identify a loss of income, and for any increased demand in their services. Rankings were applied by the Grants Sub-committee and those ranked 1 received the standard 75% of eligible funding, those ranked 2 had amount reviewed and those ranked 3 were declined. Rankings were completed against the criteria for the funding.

Sport NZ announced their Community Resilience Fund available to eligible sports and recreation organisations after Community Grants opened for applications. Council staff worked with Sport Tasman to identify applications that were eligible for their funding.

The Committee today made the following recommendations for Council to consider on 25 June:

o Round 2 of Community Grants to be usual timing – opening in August, closing end of October, with deliberations in mid-November.

o Criteria for Round 2 to be the usual criteria for Community Grants, with COVID-19 loss of income and increased demand for services added.

o Successful applicants who have received COVID-19 assistance are not able to apply again for COVID-19 assistance in Round 2 for the same purpose.

o Request that the balance of unspent funds from the Community Facilities budget be added to the balance of Community Grants budget for allocation in Round 2.

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