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Funding allocated to arts groups

The Nelson Mail
29 September 2009

Community arts organisations in Nelson have received a healthy portion of this year's Nelson City Council Community Assistance Fund.

The Arts Council Nelson received $40,000 of a total $372,900 available in the contract funding pool.

The Nelson School of Music received $35,000, and the Nelson Music Festival Trust and Nelson Jazz Club received $20,000 each.

House 44 South East Stoke was the only community agency to receive a similar grant of $20,000 followed by the Neighbourhood Support Nelson organisation, Victory Community Health Centre and Nelson Santa Parade Trust, which each received $16,000.

City council cultural, social and recreation services manager Kath Inwood said the criteria for allocating funds was set by council policy, which was a document put together by staff who weighed up different priorities.

Ms Inwood said there was a historical element to the amount the School of Music received, for example, and it had received the same amount of annual funding for a number of years.

The only difference now was that it was contestable, and the school was required to apply each time.

"A lot of the social agencies simply asked for less," Ms Inwood said.

Grants were allocated after two days of hearings and deliberations and were given to not-for-profit organisations that provided services to the Nelson community across a wide range of sectors.

Ms Inwood said there was high demand for the funding, with the level applied for far exceeding the amount available, which was always the case.

Mayor Kerry Marshall said community organisations played a vital role in the region.

"While we weren't able to meet everyone's requests, a total of $416,196 will be injected into the community, so it will have a significant positive effect on many residents."

He said the fund was intended to support those organisations providing services in line with the council's own objectives developed through long-term planning.

Mr Marshall said that by developing partnerships and investing in not-for-profit groups, the council could help to attract additional funding into the community from central government and other funding agencies.

Several community organisations, including Age Concern Nelson, Cancer Society Nelson, Friends of Old Fairfield, Neighbourhood Support Nelson, Nelson Community Potters, Nelson Multicultural Council, Nelson Plunket car seat rental scheme, Nelson Prisoner Aid and Rehabilitation Society, Nelson Railway Society and the New Hub each received $2400 of a total $43,296 available in the one-off grants pool.


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