Council endorse new community grant structure
March 29, 2018
Colac Otway Shire Council has endorsed a community grants program which broadens the opportunities for community projects and events.
The program which totals over $310,000 adopts a new structure and guidelines which follows an extensive review and community survey of the existing grants program including Council’s Festival and Events Support Scheme, Small Town Improvement Program and the Community Funding Program.
Council had deferred its decision on adopting the new guidelines at its February meeting to review the program recommendations further.
Some of the changes in the new structure include an increase in the number of eligible grant categories, and maximum limit increase in funding under the Community Events and Support Program one-off or start up events grants from $1000 to $2000, and in the maximum limit for the COPACC assistance grants from $4000 to $5000.
In the Community Grants Program category, there’s been an increase in the maximum funding limit from $5000 to $10,000 from the previous Community Funding Program, and the Small Town Improvement Program has been integrated into this grant category along with a recommendation for the availability of a minimum of $80,000 of grant funding for small township projects.
The four grant categories and funding available include Community Grants Program $160,000, Community Events and Support Program $100,000, Small Grants Program $30,000, Building Façade Improvement Program $20,000, as well as continuing to coordinate the Australia Day Awards event.
The new grant structure will streamline Council’s grant application process and includes the introduction of an online grant application process for 2019-20 program.
Colac Otway Shire Council Mayor Joe McCracken said Council is acting on the findings of the community review of our grants program to provide greater community benefit and improve the efficiency of Council’s grant management processes.
“The positive feedback we received in the community survey about our grants program shows just how much people value the grant funding opportunities available,” he said.
“Council’s grant program provides great support to a range of community groups, local clubs and organisations.”
Council also moved to continue the Student Achievement Awards which will see $250 gifted to each secondary college to be awarded at the annual awards nights.
A formal expression of interest process will be completed to seek a suitable group to manage the annual Garden Awards for 2018, with Council agreeing to fund the group with $2,500 towards the coordination and awards.
Applications will open on 3 April 2018 for the Colac Otway Shire Grants Program 2018-19 with full details and application forms available on the Colac Otway Shire Council website.