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Community groups funded to connect district

The Wānaka App

01 July 2024, 5:04 PM

Community groups funded to connect districtA range of community groups supported Out and About’s Pride event last September. Out and About has received a one-off grant of $10,000.

Upper Clutha community and non-profit groups, including Community Link, WAI Wānaka and Out and About Wānaka have received funding from Queenstown Lakes District Council’s (QLDC) 2024-2027 Community Fund.

They are among 69 groups in Queenstown Lakes, 29 of them operating mainly in Wānaka, to receive support from the fund.

“Applicants were able to request up to three years of operational or project funding through this round,” QLDC community partnerships manager Marie Day said.

QLDC councillors approved the funding at a meeting last Thursday (June 27), committing $4.974M for the three-year period until 2027 and around $1.78M for the coming year.

There was a jump in applications from community not-for-profit, voluntary or charitable groups seeking financial support, with 94 applications submitted.

Sixty-nine groups in Queenstown Lakes will benefit from the 2024-2027 Community Fund, with close to $5M allocated for the 2024-2027 period.

“We realise there are growing challenges and pressures on community groups due to the current economic climate and rising operating costs,” Marie said.

“A significant portion of the grants provided were to support operational funding to sustain the ongoing activities and administration to help these organisations keep doing valuable work in our communities.”

Local groups which received one-off funding included Wānaka Playgroup ($2,000), Upper Clutha Children’s Medical Centre Trust ($3,000), Wānaka AFC ($10,000) and Out and About Wānaka ($10,000), among others.

A larger proportion will receive multi-year funding, including the Upper Clutha Historical Society Inc ($15,000 each year for three years), Community Link ($125,000 each year for three years), Wānaka Community Workshop Trust ($16,000 each year for three years) and Kahu Youth Trust ($20,000 each year for three years).

The largest multi-year grant across the district is for the Whakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group, which will receive $450,000 each year for three years.

Given the opportunity for groups to apply for three years’ funding in this round, a smaller community funding round will be made available for community organisations to apply for grants for 2025-2026, QLDC said.

Marie said the diversity of applicants, which covered work ranging from social services to environmental protection and youth and education to tracks and trails projects, was encouraging.

“Their efforts will greatly benefit our community, enhance wellbeing and foster a stronger, more connected district.”

PHOTOS: Wānaka App