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$250,000 up for grabs for rural and regional community groups

Organisations working to create strong rural and regional communities can apply for a share of $250,000 in grants

An ANZ program working to build sustainable rural communities has opened applications for organisations to have a share in $250,000 of funding.

The ANZ Seeds of Renewal program will administer the grants through the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR). Since 2003, the program has distributed almost $4.6 million to more than 800 community groups promoting regional prosperity.

FRRR Chief Executive Officer, Natalie Egleton, said the grants are a great opportunity for community groups to seek the funding they need to make their ideas a reality.

“Rural communities know what needs to change to create opportunities and make their communities strong. This program is deliberately fixed and allows local leaders to seek funding for whatever will make their community prosperous.”

Since 2000, the FRRR has supported rural, regional and remote communities through partnerships with the private sector and governments. Since its inception, it has distributed more than $75 million in grants to community organisations.

Last year, Thallon Progress Association in Queensland received a $10,000 grant to use to bolster visitor experience. Using new signage and landscaping at campgrounds and an improvement of social media activity, the association improved tourism activity.

“In the past, we’ve funded everything from creating educational opportunities for disadvantaged youth to public Wi-Fi infrastructure and the preservation and sharing of Indigenous history,” Egleton said.

This year, ANZ is seeking applications from community groups in regions with fewer than 15,000 people working on initiatives focused on building economic strength and sustainability, including education and training to address barriers to employment.

Other requirements include acting on environmental challenges and opportunities, supporting lifelong learning and education with a focus on school engagement and promoting community health and social wellbeing.

ANZ Business Banking General Manager, Isaac Rankin, said that an importance of vibrant, inclusive and sustainable rural and regional programs is the core of the grant.

“Raising funds in small communities can be challenging and given regional Australia contributes around one third of national output and is home to 8.8 million Australians, we’re passionate about supporting projects that can make a real difference to people living in regional communities,” Rankin said.

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