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 are open and must be lodged by August 1, 2022.

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 revised eligibility criteria for the Sport and Recreation grant program meant groups that had small projects that required smaller contributions could now access the program. *See conditions listed below.

He said the current application round was the first that would need to be lodged online via Council’s new SmartyGrants software platform.

“The entire application process – from start to finish, as well as contact from Council’s grants team during the review, funding agreement and acquittal stage – will occur within the one platform,” Cr O’Shea said.

“SmartyGrants offers many advantages to residents, including the ability to attach required documents when submitting the application. Users will no longer need to drop off their application in person or via the postal system.

“The new electronic application forms can be found under the existing ‘grants and funding’ heading on Council’s website, please visit www.tr.qld.gov.au/grants 

“Residents can call 131 872 to book a consultation with relevant staff to arrange for help with tailoring grant proposals.”

Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said Community Economic Development grants up to $5,000 (or in some cases up to $10,000 per applicant, with matched funding) were available to help community organisations deliver programs designed to benefit local businesses and the broader area.

“Council is determined to support our Chambers of Commerce, Progress Associations and other not-for-profit groups who meet the selection criteria to deliver programs and job-creating projects that will benefit local businesses, particularly as our businesses continue to recover from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic,” Mayor Antonio said.

“This funding is aimed specifically at empowering local organisations to deliver the types of projects that they know will support economic growth and opportunities in their own communities.

“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.”

Cr O’Shea said Council was 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,” Cr O’Shea said.

“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 September meetings.

Free grant writing workshops:

Monday, July 18: 9am-noon at Highfields (Highfields Hub, 55 Highfields Road) and 2-5pm at Toowoomba City Library (corner Herries and Victoria streets.

Tuesday, July 19 from 9am to noon at Brookstead Hall, 10 Madelaine Street, Brookstead. (all three are in-person sessions)

An online workshop will be held on Monday, October 10 from 11am to 2pm.

Please call 131 872 to register for any of the above dates.

Sport and Recreation grant program guidelines:
• Projects to undertake planning work would require a 10% club contribution. This includes planning required for significant infrastructure, such as multi-lighting design, amenities/canteen/clubhouse plans and/or organisational planning (strategic club development plans),

• Projects with a total project cost up to $15,000, excluding GST, require a 25% contribution (for example, a $12,000 long term equipment purchase would require a $3,000 contribution from the applicant),

• Projects over $15,000, excluding GST, but under $35,000, excluding GST, require a 30% contribution (for example, a $33 000 storage shed would require an $11,000 contribution from the applicant),

• Projects over $35,000, excluding GST, but under $50,000, excluding GST, require a 40% contribution (for example, a $40,000 change room refurbishment would require a $16,000 contribution from the applicant), and

• Projects over $50,000, excluding GST require a 50% contribution (for example, a $90,000 amenities upgrade would require a $45,000 contribution from the applicant).

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