Big grants for Nelson organisations


Rātā Foundation announced on Tuesday grants totaling $300,000 have been approved to two Nelson organisations for building projects, including Church on the Hill in Richmond’s new community hall.

The foundation approved $100,000 towards Church on the Hill’s project to replace their existing hall with a new community centre. It also approved $200,000 for the Nelson Tasman Housing Trust building new affordable and energy efficient houses.

The Church on the Hill project will provide the wider community with a well-planned, multi-purpose facility, which will also allow for a 200 seat auditorium which can be used as a performing arts centre, chief executive of the Rātā Foundation Louise Edwards says. They have collaborated with their wider community to ensure the new facility plugs specific gaps in the current market around availability for venues which meet a wide range of use, she says.

Louise says says the trustees were impressed with the prior work around fundraising the Church on the Hill had already undertaken.

“They have spent the last ten years raising a significant amount of money to complete this project which will be of huge benefit to the Richmond community.”

Rātā Foundation has a long history of supporting housing in Nelson and has partnered with The Nelson Tasman Housing Trust on social housing previously, as well as the recent Warmer Healthier Homes project.

She says funding for this project will assist The Nelson Tasman Housing Trust to kick-start the regeneration of the Orchard Estate in Stoke, which entails building six new affordable and energy efficient houses on land which previously contained three State houses.

“The Trust has a proven track record in social housing and this project marks the first stage of what is envisaged as a rolling programme of regeneration to turn around the Orchard Estate and eventually produce a more balanced community with mixed tenure, while creating community development opportunities.”

“By helping to create community conditions which support the Nelson region’s most vulnerable people and families in critical ways we increase our chances to make a real difference to their future outcomes and the outcomes of our community as a whole,” she says.