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$1.1M Granted In Trust’s Final Round For 2020

Otago Community Trust have funded over $1.1M in support of a diverse range of community causes in what was the Trusts final funding round for 2020.

Diccon Sim, Otago Community Trust chair said the December funding round supported nearly 70 community organisations from Tahakopa in the south to Otematata in the north of Otago.

“In terms of the number of community organisations funded, this is the largest funding round the Trust has had for quite some time.”

“Our consistent message throughout 2020 has been that the Trust has a good level of accumulated-income reserves in place to support Otago. As trustees our responsibility is to wisely manage our investment portfolio thereby ensuring our general community-based granting can continue to support the needs and aspirations of the region.”

It is encouraging to see so many community groups regather from the disruption of Covid-19 and begin planning and accessing funding for a variety of projects, programmes, and events in 2021, Sim said.

School capital projects were a driver in several of the applications for funding in December.

Otago Community Trust chief executive, Barbara Bridger said that in December 2019 the government announced a School Investment Package designed to provide one off funding to most state schools to accelerate upgrade work. Schools have been directed to focus on projects that can be delivered by December 2021.

“As a consequence of this our December funding round had a number of applications from schools to support some very significant and large-scale projects to be completed over the next 12 months,” Bridger said.

Taieri College was awarded a grant totalling $250,000 to support the replacement of their artificial turf. Tahuna Normal Intermediate School also secured a $142,000 grant to assist with the cost of installing a covered multi-sport turf and upgrade the school’s current courts.

Taieri College principal David Hunter said the funding from the government alongside securing the large grant from Otago Community Trust has put the school years ahead of where it would have been in terms of fundraising for the replacement turf.

“We were just over the moon to hear the news. Our turf area has deteriorated significantly over the last few years and this grant now means we can “press go” with the replacement project in 2021. It is great news for not only the school but the wider Taieri community who regularly use this facility.”

Additional grants included the Connections Education and Development Trust who received a $14,500 grant to embark on an exciting new project to support disabled people to create their own learning tool around disability rights. In collaboration with Dunedin Friend-link which supports disabled people in the community, artists will be working together to create a fantasy, task-based computer game based on the UN convention on rights for disabled people to educate both disabled people and the wider general community about disability rights.

Middlemarch Swimming Club Soc Inc were awarded a $10,000 grant to assist with the cost of heating the Middlemarch Swimming Pool and Bike Wanaka Inc also received $10,000 grant to support the development of the Kirimoko community bike park adjacent to Sticky Forest in Wanaka.

A total of $1,184,747 to 69 organisations was approved in December 2020.

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