Applications are open for Toowoomba Regional Council’s (TRC) next round of community grants.

TRC Environment and Community Services Committee chair Cr James O’Shea said community and not-for-profit groups were welcome to apply for funding to assist their project or event. Applications must be lodged by March 1, 2021.

Cr O’Shea said the current funding program covered applications for the Sport and Recreation, Event Support, Community Support, Community Economic Development, Environment, Cultural and Arts Support and Sports Tourism grants.

Cr O’Shea said significant funding allocations were available in this round for eligible applications in the Sport and Recreation and Event Support grant programs.

Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said the temporary COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery Community Economic Development Grants, (generally known as the Community Economic Development Grants), would be capped at $5000 for each application, with a yearly limit of two grants per applicant.

“Council is determined to support our Chambers of Commerce, Progress Associations and other not-for-profit groups who meet the selection criteria for delivering programs and projects that will benefit local businesses, particularly in the current environment,” Mayor Antonio said.

“This funding is aimed specifically to support businesses as they recover from the effects of the COVID-19 shutdown and move to restore their business operations.

“Council envisages that these grants will support the implementation of the Toowoomba Region Economic Development Strategy and township economic development plans like the Community Growth Action Plans.”

“Residents can call 131 872 to book a consultation with relevant staff to arrange for help with tailoring grant proposals,” Cr O’Shea said.

“Council appreciates the difficulty smaller groups face to find money for projects, services and facilities.

“Council is pleased to offer financial assistance to a diverse range of community and not-for-profit groups.

“Preference is given to applications that fulfil a range of criteria covering community inclusiveness and interaction, a willingness to encourage community partnerships, upgrading facilities or services or establishing a new service, facility or initiative.

“Different funding caps apply across various grant categories.”

Grant applications in each category are assessed by a panel including TRC staff from the specified area and Councillors.

The competitive review process means that not all projects always can be fully funded.

The current grant round is expected to be presented for approval by Council at its April meetings.

Residents are invited to register for free grant workshops at Oakey on Monday, February 8 (Oakey Community Centre) and Clifton on Wednesday, February 10 (Clifton Senior Citizen’s Hall). Both sessions run from 5.30-7pm.

Please call 131 872 to reserve a place at the workshops.

Cr O’Shea said Council approved more than $145,100 covering 48 applications in the previous grant round in August 2020.

Successful grant recipients included the Cambooya Public Hall Association (PA system), Coalbank Hall (Christmas function), Greenmount Returned Soldiers’ Memorial Hall (artwork restoration), Peranga Community Association (heritage preservation), Pittsworth and District Campdraft Association (maintenance equipment), Toowoomba Horse Riding for the Disabled Association (efficient water management), Yarraman Sporting Group (sporting equipment), Friends of the Escarpment Parks Toowoomba (park restoration), North East Downs Landcare Group (native tree planting for a koala corridor), Boodua Pubic Hall Association (events), High Country Festivals (Hampton Festival weekend), Cabarlah Pony Club (ground upgrade) and the Pittsworth and District Junior Rugby League (skill clinics).

More information about each grant category can be viewed at www.tr.qld.gov.au/grants