SunLive – Cash injection for community facilities

The hopes of five community groups are being realized with Western Bay of Plenty District Council facilities funding in the Community Fund.

The Community Fund Facilities, available every two years, aims to give a boost to community-run facilities that are accessible to the public but are not on public land.

Community groups that look after buildings and facilities can be overwhelmed with the costs of upgrading and upgrading their facilities to meet user needs and community growth.

And new projects can struggle to get off the ground without a little financial boost. In these situations, community fund facilities can make all the difference.

“We are really happy to be able to help out with these much-needed community facilities,” says Rachael Davie, Group Director, Community and Strategy.

“As kaitiaki (guardians), these groups work hard to create and maintain facilities that benefit others. It’s often a thankless task, so we’re really proud to support them.

“Thank you to everyone who applied for funding. Your mahi does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

The five projects the funding will contribute to in 2022 include:

· Repair of the roof of the agricultural and pastoral building Katikati (A&P) on rue Major in Katikati. This building is one of Katikati’s oldest venues and is used for the popular A&P Show, which plans to celebrate its 100e edition in 2023. The repair of the roof will correspond to the new paint job undertaken in 2020.

· The Katikati Community Center will also benefit from much-needed maintenance and renovations. The planned mahi includes replacing the pergola and bringing it up to wheelchair access standards. The funding will also help with mobility scooter parking and an after-school equipment storage area.

· The Whakamarama Mountain Bike Trail is also a step closer to reality thanks to Council support. The funds will be used to finance an exploratory study of the planned 20 km trail in the native forest of Kaimai Mamaku Conservation Park. This study is the first checkbox in the preparation for the construction and maintenance of the trail.

· Otamarakau School will receive funding for a waterproof cover for its artificial turf courts. Astro turf is used for outdoor sports including hockey and tennis. The cover will protect the surface from the elements and allow sports to take place in most weather conditions.

· And finally, the Te Puna Quarry Park has obtained funding to install a new double electric barbecue under a new wooden shelter in the park. The new barbecue and shelter will provide a comfortable space where people can gather, share food and stay sheltered from the elements.

Louellen Davies, President of the Katikati Agricultural and Pastoral Society, is truly delighted to hear that the Katikati Agricultural and Pastoral Society will receive support.

“I was so excited that I kept punching the air for the next half hour – this funding is so important to us.”

Trish Reddish, principal of the Otamarakau school, was also thrilled with the good news.

“We are absolutely delighted that the Western Bay of Plenty District Council has awarded us over $10,000 for our fundraising for court coverage. This blanket will make a huge difference to our tamariki and our local community by providing the ability to get outdoors whatever the weather.

The community fund facilities, valued at $100,000, are open for applications every two years. The 2020 edition has been combined with the Community Matching Fund into the Community Resilience Fund for groups affected by Covid-19.

A one-time contribution of $26,000 was made to Maketu School through the Council’s 2021/2031 Long Term Plan process and the remaining amount was included in the recent funding cycle.

The successful applicants were selected by a sub-committee of councilors John Scrimgeour, Mark Dean and James Denyer each representing one of Western Bay’s three wards. The jury reviews each entry against a set of criteria to ensure fair and objective results.

Community fund facilities are expected to reopen in 2024.

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