Today’s Planning, Finance and Community Committee endorsed a second round of Community Grants funding to support Marlborough community organisations to assist them get through the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions.
In April councillors had agreed to establish a Community Facilities emergency budget of up to $1 million and also increased the Community Grants budget by $200,000 to $500,000. Both initiatives were funded from the Emergency Events Reserve.
Request for Community Facilities assistance had been received from organisations including Marlborough Heritage Centre, the Geisen Centre, Endeavour Park Pavilion, the Youth Hub, Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, the Millennium Art Gallery and Stadium 2000.
The first round of Community Grants took place in May with eighty applications requesting a total of $920,719.40 received. After consideration of eligible requests the Grants Sub-committee allocated 68 grants totaling $374,072.00. This leaves a balance of $125,928 to allocate in Round 2.
The focus of the Community Grants in Round 1 was for operating costs where organisations can identify a loss of income, due to COVID-19 restrictions and for increased demand in their services.
Committee Chairman Mark Peters said the Council’s Grant’s Committee had been fair and consistent in its deliberations.
“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 help our community organisations get through this very challenging period.”
The Committee today made the following recommendations for Council to consider on 25 June:
- Round 2 of Community Grants to be usual timing – opening in August, closing end of October, with deliberations in mid-November
- Criteria for Round 2 to be the usual criteria for Community Grants, with COVID-19 loss of income and increased demand for services added.
- 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.
- 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.