Region set to cash in

CLARENCE Valley not-for-profit groups will soon have another avenue to secure funding for community projects with news the Newcastle Permanent Building Society will open a branch in Grafton in the coming months.

About 100 representatives of various Clarence Valley community and not-for-profit groups gathered at the Grafton Community Centre yesterday to find out more about a program run by the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, which provided funding for local charities, its manager Jason Bourke said.

“We provide funding to local not-for-profit organisations for local community projects in areas where the Newcastle Permanent Building Society has branches – we’re opening here within the next few months and we thought we’d get in early and let the community know what we’re doing and the way that they can access funding for local projects which are going to benefit the community,” Mr Bourke said.

“We’ve had a great response in Grafton – we had nearly 100 people in the room today which is a great reaction, we were really happy to see so many people here.”

Mr Bourke said the foundation provided about $1.5 million a year across the state for these community projects and said quite a few potential candidates in the Clarence Valley had been raised at yesterday’s meeting.

“We heard about some great projects – there’s some great things happening around the Maclean, the Yamba and the Grafton areas,” he said.

“It’s a competitive process getting funding through us because there’s lots of need throughout regional NSW, but there are some great people involved here, lots of volunteers, unpaid, unrecognised so it’s great to see so many people in the room with so many ideas.”

Mr Bourke said the next round of funding finished at the end of April and he encouraged Clarence Valley groups to apply soon.

“We encourage local not-for-profit organisations with a need for money for a local project here in the Clarence area to submit an application for funding to our foundation and we’ll give it some due consideration,” he said.

Groups interested in applying for funding through the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation program can download an application form and find out more about the eligibility criteria from

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