NOT-FOR-PROFIT community groups across the Blayney Shire are being encouraged to apply for funding under the Community Improvement Program being offered by Council, worth a total of $50,000.
The Program is designed to assist not-for-profit groups that offer a significant contribution to the social, economic or environmental wellbeing of the community.
These include not-for-profit sporting and community groups. Each application will be assessed by community committees.
Blayney Shire Council general manager Glenn Wilcox has encouraged groups to apply for this new funding which is being offered by Council for the first time and said: "It doesn't matter how small or large [the project requiring financial assistance] is as long as it fits into the guidelines".
"Projects must be clearly described, illustrate the community benefit that the financial assistance will provide and identify which of Council's vision statements in the Community Strategic Plan will be addressed," Mr Wilcox wrote in his report to Councillors at Monday night's Council meeting.
Councillors voted in favour of adopting the guidelines for financial assistance programs and application forms.
"As part of the Integrated and Reporting process, it was identified that a community fund should be established to support local activities and to assist the not-for-profit organisations across the Shire," Mr Wilcox said.
The $50,000 that has been set aside for not-for-profit groups to apply for funding is part of $106,492 that Council has allocated in its budget for community groups.
The remaining $56,492 has already been allocated, such as donations to the Community Centre Hire ($5000) and $3183 for an insurance contribution to community groups.
"These guidelines establish a system for the community and Council to make application, assess and provide support," Mr Wilcox said.
"Council as with many Shire businesses are receiving requests for donations and contributions and has been required to make assessments as to the Shires benefits without any form guidelines or support from sporting, environmental or social groups across the Shire."
The guidelines will establish an open system of funding to be provided through four categories, Mr Wilcox said.
"These guidelines will allow Council to call on its community committees to assess where donations and contributions would be made to generate the greatest benefit to the Shire communities or individuals.
"This is a new policy that establishes Financial Assistance criteria, an application process and community assistance in the assessment process."