Applications are open for Toowoomba Regional Council’s (TRC) latest round of community grants.

TRC Environment and Community Services Committee chair Cr Geoff McDonald said community and not-for-profit groups were welcome to apply for funding to help stage or conduct their activities or events. Applications must be lodged by March 1, 2019. Cr McDonald said the current funding program covered applications for the Sport and Recreation, Event Support, Community Support, Environment, Community Economic Development, Cultural and Arts Support and Sports Tourism grants. “Residents can call 131 872 to arrange a consultation with relevant staff before March 1 to discuss tailoring grant proposals,” Cr McDonald said. “Council appreciates the difficulty smaller groups face to find money for projects, services and facilities. Council is pleased to offer financial assistance to a diverse range of community and not-for-profit groups.”

Cr McDonald said preference would be given to applications that fulfil a range of criteria covering community inclusiveness and interaction, a willingness to encourage community partnerships, upgrading facilities or services or establishing a new service, facility or initiative, with different funding caps applying across various grant categories.

“Grants are one way Council can give eligible groups a helping hand to build on the sweat, toil and goodwill of volunteers,” Cr MacDonald said.

The Community Economic Development Grants are capped at $5000 for each application, with a yearly limit of two grants per applicant. These grants are offered to support Chambers of Commerce, Progress Associations and other not-for-profit groups who meet the selection criteria.

This funding is aimed at building the capacity of regional groups who are delivering specific programs to attract or boost employment or who are undertaking projects in their towns and districts. Council envisages that these grants will support the implementation of the Toowoomba Region Economic Development Strategy and township economic development plans like the Community Growth Action Plans.

Grant applications in each category are assessed by a panel including Councillors and TRC staff from the relevant area. The competitive review process means that not all projects can always be fully funded. The current grant round is expected to be presented for approval by Council at its April meetings.

Cr McDonald said Council approved more than $257,000 covering 67 applications in the previous grant round in August 2018. “These applications covered numerous community events and activities across the region including a range of flower shows, community hall fundraisers, charity events, musical performances and activities to reduce feral pig numbers,” he said.

Featured Image: Cr Geoff McDonald

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