FLASHBACK: Community Grant recipients gather on the steps of Ringsfield House to thank Heritage Community Branch for their support … but this year the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a spanner into the schedule of the popular grants program (Photo: clivelowephotography.com.au)

May 27, 2020

The schedule for Heritage Nanango’s annual community grants program will be altered slightly this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

And community groups who have already applied will have the opportunity to reconsider their application in light of the pandemic as they attempt to restart or continue their operations.

Applications for the Heritage Nanango Community Funding (HNCF) 2020 grant round closed on March 20, just days before the COVID-19 closures came into effect.

HNCF had opened its funding round a little earlier this year with a plan to announce the successful applicants by early June.

However, the pandemic and lockdowns that followed threw a spanner into the works.

“Due to these unprecedented times, our directors believed funding priorities for groups may change from the projects they applied for in the 2020 round,” HNCF Chair Wendy Zerbst said.

“Directors felt best outcomes to help community organisations restart – or continue to operate – may require a different response to the usual grant process.”

To evaluate what may be necessary, HNCF has put most current grant applications on hold, and will conduct an extraordinary funding round as soon as the pandemic settles down.

“With current restrictions slowly loosening, we anticipate this round will open in a few months,” Wendy said.

“Groups can be assured their application is still active.

“However, we will be contacting each applicant to verify whether they might want to change their application to something that has become more pressing as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown.”

HNCF recently approved a small number of applications for immediate effect.

“These have been prioritised because they involve things like grounds maintenance, the supply of an important service or a previously agreed project completion,” Wendy said.

“In one case, for instance, we will be helping fund equipment that will be used for fire prevention activities, and the best time to do that work is right now, not later in the year.”

Due to the long lead times required, HNCF has also approved funding for future events so organisers have assurance their event will be funded and can plan accordingly.

“The aim of HNCF grants is to ensure our communities get the best value from them,” Wendy said.

“So we’d like to thank our community groups for their patience while we make sure we continue to put funding where it’s most needed.”

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