Environmental fund loosens usage rules

Michael Deaker
Michael Deaker
The Otago Regional Council hopes opening up its $250,000 environmental grants fund for operational costs will offer a "point of difference" for the region’s community groups.

The council has launched its rebranded Eco Fund, which replaces the former Environmental Enhancement fund.

It offers $250,000 a year over three funding rounds for community-based environmental groups.

Cr Michael Deaker said the council found far too few people knew about the fund, and so it wanted to relaunch it and make it more accessible.It would now offer administrative and staff funding, which gave it a "point of difference" from most other community funding schemes, he said.

"We found that an awful lot of people said they could raise money for planting trees, but they really need some kind of fund to give a bit of cash to administer or run systems and pay people if they need to."

The first funding round will open on September 1.

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