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Eastern & Central Community Trust’s vision, under its 2023-2030 Strategic Plan is to “accelerate courageous transformational change, that creates vibrant, more sustainable and equitable communities”.    The Plan was launched in April of this year and Trustees and staff are in the process of defining the funding framework and policy that will underpin the new strategic direction.   Due to the funding framework being reworked to ensure that we can meet the transformational outcomes of greater equity; better health and well-being; stronger communities and a flourishing environment, the Community Assets and Facilities Fund (CAFF), is being put on hold to allow a new framework to be created.  

The Trustees understand that this will cause concern, particularly for groups like yours that were part way through the CAFF grant process, however, without the new framework and policy in place, the Trustees feel that it would be inappropriate to continue to award significant grants for projects that don’t fit the new criteria.    To ensure that ECCT can keep granting during this phase, the Grassroots fund, which grants up to $75,000, will continue to operate under the old framework.   It is anticipated the new funding framework and policy will be ready in early 2024.

The Community Assets & Facilities Fund (CAFF) is for capital developments and is designed to help communities create and maintain the community assets and facilities needed to meaningfully participate in community life. We want to look at projects that are designed to help the wider community – for example, these can include new buildings, major renovations, playgrounds and skate parks.

If you have a community asset that needs to be built, developed or maintained, and you’re looking for between $75,000 – $500,000 this is the fund to apply to.  You can apply at any stage of your project’s lifecycle, and we have a helpful diagram (below) so you can work out where your project is.

Before applying for this funding initiative, please contact us to check that this is the right fit for your project. Call and speak to one of our Community Advisors on freephone: 0800 878 720 or emailing us at: [email protected]z

A diagram featuring the six stages of a facility's lifecycle - concept, plan, design, construct, operate, maintain, improve Six stage facility lifecycle

To apply for funding, you’ll need to show that your project:

  • Aligns with ECCT’s vision for community facilities, which:
      • Encourages and enables community participation
      • Supports access to services
      • Supports connection with the community
  • Is fit for purpose
  • Has a demonstrated need
  • Is located where communities need them
  • Has the right management processes in place
  • Is affordable and sustainable

If you think your project meets these criteria, give us a call.

Are there any deadlines?

The Community Assets and Facilities Fund is a contestable fund and applying is a two-step process.

First, you need to provide an Expression of Interest (EOI). To do this, contact one of our Community Advisors who will be able to guide you through the entire process. EOIs can take up to three months to consider, therefore we advise you start the process as soon as possible. If successful, you can submit a Capital Works application.

Remember, we recommend you give us a call and have an informal chat before you apply. You can call us on 0800 878 720 or email us at: [email protected]

How our application process works:

Step 1 – Expression of Interest (EOI)

The first step is to call us  free on: 0800 878 720 or email us at: [email protected]  to discuss your project.

Once we’ve had a conversation, if the project seems to be a good fit we will send you the forms you need to complete for your EOI. To get an idea of what we take into consideration, we have put some CAFF checklists on our website.

Depending on your project, the information we need may include a pre-feasibility study, community needs assessment, options analysis and strategic plan.

The information in your EOI will give us a good overall picture of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and where you are in the process. Reading over this information, assessing it, and coming back to you for more information takes time. We want to know that what you’re doing on this project is a good fit for what we want to fund.

Once we have considered your EOI, one of two things will happen. It will either be declined, or you will be invited to complete a Capital Works application.

Step 2 – Capital Works Application

A Capital Works application requires different information to the EOI. It may include things like feasibility studies, a detailed business case, design and project plans, governance documents, budgets and maintenance reports, annual reports, and asset management plans.

Once we receive your Capital Works application, we will need time to read and assess this information. We need to make sure we have all the right information to present to our Board, so they can consider your application.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long will the whole process take?

It takes up to three months to hear the outcome of an EOI. The quickest it will take to process through the EOI and the Capital Works Application stage is five to six months, and you should plan your project accordingly. Much is dependent on the quality of the submission and if documents are provided in a timely manner.

  • Why the long deadlines?

At each stage, we need time to work through all the documentation, ask for any follow-up information, and make sure that we understand your project, and what you’re trying to achieve. Note the better the application the quicker the process takes!

  • Can I send in my EOI at any time?

You are welcome to submit an EOI at any time for consideration.

  • Can I send in a Capital Works application without completing an EOI?


  • Can I apply for feasibility funding?

If your Capital Works application is successful, we can consider a two-step funding process, allowing you to complete a detailed feasibility study, with the balance to follow once the study has been completed.

  • Is there an information sheet that I can use to discuss this with my committee?

Yes, there is – you can find it here.

  • How do you know if I’m on the right track with my project?

You can find the checklists that Eastern & Central Community Trust uses when looking at CAFF EOIs and applications here.

  • Will Eastern & Central Community Trust fund my whole project?

Eastern & Central Community Trust are unlikely to fully fund a project by ourselves. We may ask if you have other funders lined up, and how much you will be putting towards a project yourselves.

  • Will Eastern & Central Community Trust give funding for earthquake strengthening, or if our project has already started?

Eastern & Central Community Trust will not provide funding for earthquake strengthening or retrospective expenses.

Community Assets and Facilities Fund process