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The Greater Green Island Community Network has been selected for the Government's annual community development scheme.
Group spokeswoman Melanie McNatty said it would receive $80,000 a year for three years.
Network members celebrated with high fives when they learned the news.
''Dreams are possible,'' Ms McNatty said.
Some of the funds would be used to employ a community development co-ordinator.
The position would be advertised next week, she said.
The remaining funding would help with operational costs and projects.
Projects could include improving traffic flow in the business district, installing better lighting where youth congregated, relationship-building between neighbours, encouraging retailers to the area and improving the appearance of ''shabby'' amenities.
The community would be consulted on desired projects.
The grant was ''perfect timing'', with the redevelopment of Sunnyvale Sports Centre and the planned construction of a supermarket in Green Island.
Network member Lynda Davidson said the network wanted to make the suburb ''a destination hub with a unique feel'', for residents of surrounding suburbs and beyond to visit.
Green Island had more to offer visitors than ''just the landfill''.
A survey the network started on Green Island last year was completed by nearly 450 people and convinced the network to apply.
The scheme, administered by the Department of Internal Affairs, funded 12 projects in New Zealand.
Presbyterian Support Otago is the fund holder for the network.