$1.778m funding allocated to groups

Plenty more groups are asking for plenty more money in the Queenstown Lakes district.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council has awarded $1,778,000 in grants for the coming year through the council’s community fund 2024-27.

The grants were to community groups and not-for-profit organisations from right across the district. The numbers applying were three times more than in the previous funding round.

Council community partnerships manager Marie Day said, in a statement, she was thrilled to be able to provide grants to 69 individual groups through a multi-year fund.

"QLDC is delighted to support such a wide range of community groups in our district — over double the number allocated in the previous funding round — and excited to see all the incredible work these groups will be undertaking. Their efforts will greatly benefit our community, enhance wellbeing and foster a stronger, more connected district," Ms Day said.

"Applicants were able to request up to three years of operational or project funding through this round. The total community fund funding allocated for the three-year 2024-2027 period was $4,974,000."

There was a jump in applications from community not-for-profit, voluntary or charitable groups seeking financial support, with 94 applications submitted — more than three times the number submitted as part of the 2021-24 long-term plan.

The Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group received the largest grant of $450,000 annually for three years. Other recipients included Community Link, Happiness House, the Whakatipu Youth Trust, Kāhu Youth Trust, Wai Wānaka, the Queenstown Trails Trust and KiwiHarvest.

Ms Day said it was heartening to see the diversity of the Queenstown Lakes community reflected in successful applicants. These included those working in social services, environmental protection, youth and education, the arts, culture and heritage through to track and trail projects.

"We realise there are growing challenges and pressures on community groups due to the current economic climate and rising operating costs. A significant portion of the grants provided were to support operational funding to sustain the ongoing activities and administration to help these organisations keep doing valuable work in our communities."

Full details of fund recipients are available on the council’s website: www.qldc.govt.nz/community-funding.

Given the opportunity for groups to apply for three years’ funding in this round, a smaller community funding round will be made available for community organisations to apply for grants for 2025-26.