Grants aplenty for our region

City of Greater Geelong mayor Trent Sullivan. (supplied)

At our first meeting in 2024, council last week awarded the latest round of its Community Grants program.

A total of 31 projects, across the categories of Community Infrastructure and Geelong Heritage, shared in more than $2.76 million worth of grants.

From Lara, to Ceres, to Armstrong Creek and Portarlington, the grants are helping to progress all corners of our city.

The majority of these (19) were to advance shovel-ready capital works projects, which will see new facilities built or existing ones redeveloped to improve services and programs.

Improved facilities help community groups to sustain or expand their operations, providing a better experience for their members.

The infrastructure grants include:

• An upgrade of the Geelong Ballroom Dance Club’s Kendall room, including a kitchenette and purpose-built dance floor, meeting room, office area and ramps – $350,000

• Installation of LED flood lighting at Hurst Reserve, ensuring safe training sessions and games for the Geelong Gaels (Gaelic Football and Hurling Club) – $350,000

• Construction of a raised undercover deck at Lara Swimming Club with bifold doors and a ramp for disability access – $220,000; and

• Establishment of a Chilwell Community Garden, including water connection and fence, shed and verandah construction – $69,300

Council also allocates grants to help in the planning stages of an infrastructure project.

Among the eight initiatives to receive funding were:

• $50,000 for the Drysdale Football Club to pursue a lighting infrastructure upgrade, to replace 40-year-old lights that don’t meet current industry standards; and

• $40,200 for the Geelong Rangers Soccer Club to commence concept planning for a new club room facility at Myers Reserve.

• $14,600 to assist the St Leonards Men’s Shed to extend its workshop, providing more space for machinery and workbenches.

We also awarded four Geelong Heritage Grants, totalling $90,000.

This category aims to assist owners in conserving heritage buildings that contribute to the visual character of our streetscapes.

The grants can be used to repair key facades or street frontages of heritage buildings, or to reinstate of street front heritage features that have been altered or removed over time.

This round of grants included:

• $40,000 towards the slate roof replacement and exterior repair and painting for a Manifold Heights house; and

• $30,000 to support the restoration of Matthew Flinders Girls Secondary College’s Merrya building on Fenwick Street, Geelong.

I was also pleased to recently meet the leaders of two innovative firms, who each received $25,000 Clean Economy grants.

These grants support initiatives that address climate change growth and deliver positive economic and environmental sustainability outcomes.

FormFlow, based in North Shore, is developing a new finance model to promote a circular economy in housing.

This new approach aims to replace the traditional ‘build to buy/rent’ model, with lease financing of building modules.

While creative agency Sequence Digital, from Newtown, will use its $25,000 grant to bring new life to lithium-ion batteries collected from landfill.

The battery management system will power the Rhino Instruments temperature monitors, which we use at our Anakie Garden Organics Processing Facility.

Clever, creative, and community-focused – our grants program is having an impact in so many areas.