Grants to kickstart community recovery

The Greater Geelong Council has awarded a total of $304,698 in funding to 45 different clubs and organisations across the region, under the final round of its 2019-20 Community Grants program.

The grants, ranging from $1000 up to $70,000, are for heritage projects in central Geelong as well as community events, projects and equipment.

It’s hoped the grants will help speed up the local community’s social and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community clubs and groups awarded grants include:

  • Humans in Geelong: $10,000 to stage the Humans in Geelong Expo;
  • Geelong Symphony Orchestra: $10,000 to stage a concert series;
  • Kids Plus Foundation: $5000 to stage the Kites for Kids event on the Geelong waterfront;
  • Masters Summer League: $4786 to establish a social summer football (soccer) competition for over 35s;
  • Clifton Springs Community Men’s Shed: $2000 for power and hand tools;
  • Portarlington Football Club: $2000 for new equipment for its new female team;
  • Newtown Playgroup: $1902 for ‘healthy and active’ play equipment; and
  • Norlane West Scout Group: $1280 for camping equipment.

Historically significant central Geelong buildings receiving funds to contribute towards a restoration include:

  • The former Regent Theatre building at 118 Little Malop Street, built in 1922 ($70,000);
  • The Currabeg House building at 248 Latrobe Terrace, built in 1902 ($7443);
  • The former Cheetham Salt building at 71 Little Malop Street, built in 1913 ($15,000); and
  • The Gosberton House building at 14 Ryrie Street, built in 1880 ($4500).

A full list of grant recipients in each funding category is available here.

The grants have been awarded using leftover funding from the first round of 2019-20 Community Grants, which were announced in late 2019.

The 2019-20 grants program has now delivered a total of over $4 million in funding to 223 different clubs, groups and organisations in the Greater Geelong community.

Applications for the second round of grants were submitted before COVID-19 restrictions came into place, but all applicants have since been contacted to check that their projects can be delivered in line with restrictions.

Scheduled events that can’t be held as a result of the restrictions will be delayed or delivered online.

The list of grant recipients was endorsed by the council on Tuesday night after all applications were assessed by an independent panel.

Update on 2020-21 Community Grants program

Last month the council agreed to delay the opening of applications for the 2020-21 Community Grants program to allow a review of all grants streams, with an aim of making sure the program will best support the region’s recovery from the COVID-19 restrictions.

The council will be presented with the results of this review in June before making a decision on the timing of the 2020-21 grants program.

Mayor Stephanie Asher:

The council’s grants program is an important way for us to support worthy projects and events, as well as helping community clubs and groups buy equipment they really need.

At a time like this, these grants are more valuable than ever in helping our community get back on its feet after the impacts of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Councillor Anthony Aitken, Chair, Finance portfolio:

These grants are round two of our 2019-20 program. COVID-19 has impacted on the ability to deliver, but the assessments were positive that the recipients can use these funds as stimulus to help kickstart our region’s recovery, with a $304,698 investment into the Geelong economy as soon as possible.

The grants also reflect the diversity of Geelong, with much needed small based equipment grants around $1000, to contributions to underwrite our emerging cultural and creative communities through $10,000 grants to both Geelong Symphony Orchestra and Humans in Geelong, and major heritage grants to restore some of the forgotten treasures in the CBD like $70,000 to assist restoration of the Regent Theatre façade.

/Public Release. View in full here.