Funding of promotions rearranged

The Cromwell Community Board has decided the Cromwell and Districts Promotions Group will no longer automatically get all the board's promotions grant funding, as has historically been the case.

The grant is designed to promote Cromwell and districts as a place to live and/or visit and the group is responsible for such events as the Cromwell Summer Series, a series of mountain bike and cycling races, triathlons and duathlons.

Because the full grant has been given to the promotions group each year, other groups seeking funding have not been able to apply to the board.

However, they could ask the promotions group for funding.

"I think the promotions group is being delegated a power in choosing what events to support ... I feel we've given away a power that shouldn't be given away," board member Nigel McKinlay said at Monday's meeting.

However, other board members supported the group.

"I think that it has worked so well and will continue to work well. I don't think any other group ... could have done as well," Helen Hucklebridge said.

This week, the board decided to move to a contestable grants policy, meaning any person or group seeking funding could apply for a promotions grant.

• At Monday's meeting, the board considered the promotion group's application for $95,000 in funding for the coming year, which would be spent on activities outlined in the group's marketing strategy.

These included the Cromwell Summer Series, the New Zealand Cherry Spitting Competition, the Cromwell fireworks display and Rush to the Junction, among others.

Some of the money would also be spent on advertising, general operating costs and "personal selling", which was the largest item in the group's budget and included $15,000 for a promotional campaign at the Canterbury A and P Show.

Last September, the group called for submissions on what to spend the money. Of the 11 submissions, six questioned promoting Cromwell at the Canterbury show.

Some board members also questioned attending the show, especially in light of the submissions.

Using his casting vote when the vote was split, board chairman Neil Gillespie decided the group would not receive funding to go to the show, but left the option open for it to come back to the board and reapply for the $15,000.


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