Eco Fund applicants whittled down

Applications for Otago Regional Council’s annual Eco Fund has been three times oversubscribed again.

Thirty-three of this year’s 65 applicants having now made it to a recommended list.

About $918,000 was available this year — from the combined Eco Fund and Incentives Funding programmes – 65 applicants were seeking a combined $2.7 million for environmental projects around Otago.

ORC environmental implementation principal adviser Anna Molloy said the funding supports community driven projects, which would protect, enhance and promote Otago’s environment.

"The oversubscription for funds again this year reflects increasing community awareness and people keen to help protect our environment. The increase also likely reflects the ending of the government’s Jobs for Nature funding which has supported many groups for several years.

"There was a wealth of very good applications. Every year we wish we were able to fund more applicants."

Following a report to the Environmental Implementation Committee last week, that committee would make recommendations to a full council meeting on May 22, to be voted on by councillors.

Successful applicants will then be notified, and an announcement made; which will outline each project’s objectives and the amount of funding secured.