Grants could make a ‘huge difference’

COMMUNITY, sporting, cultural and other not-for-profit groups are being urged to apply for council funding so they can begin planning postponed or cancelled events in 2021.

Groups can now apply for up to $5000 from Swan Hill Rural City Council's community development fund.

Mayor Bill Moar said council valued the contributions that community, sporting and not-for-profit groups made to the community.

"The grants program is one way that we can recognise the contributions of local community groups," Cr Moar said.

Funding will be provided for structural repairs or minor upgrades to community facilities, new or upgraded equipment essential to a community group's operation, addressing current OHS or risk management issues, or new programs or activities within a community.

Funding is also available for projects for specific high-needs groups or that promote local sustainability initiatives, protection, conservation and restoration of heritage items and assets as well as planning, support and training for members.

Cr Moar said funding from the program had the potential to make a huge difference.

"This year, we have increased our community development fund budget meaning additional funds are now available," he added.

Cr Moar said he recognised that local community groups had been impacted by recent COVID-19 restrictions and hoped the program would assist with their recovery.

"Council hope community groups will take advantage of this opportunity to update and reinvigorate their organisation, following this difficult period," he said.

Meanwhile, applications for the event support fund are now open.

Event organisers can apply for up to $500 for community events, minor events up to $2000 and large events up to $5000.

Mayor Bill Moar said with COVID-19 restrictions event organisers and community groups had been hit hard.

"While we can't currently host traditional events like we are used to, community groups can now start planning some great events for 2021," Cr Moar said.

"This funding program has the potential to make a huge difference to non-profit groups, our local communities and have a significant impact on our local economy."

Cr Moar said in the unfortunate instance an event is unable to proceed in the format and timeframe initially planned due to further restrictions or other unforeseen circumstances, applicants would be able to submit a variation proposal.

Application forms and guidelines for both funds are available via council's website.