Deadline looming on new recreation funding

Community recreational facilities eligible for funding

Community facilities, such as local arenas, community centres and sports fields, across the province are now eligible for federal upgrade funding, but interested groups will need to apply quickly.

The Conservative government’s new Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF) has an Aug. 2 deadline to apply for the first, and possibly last, intake.

Local and First Nations governments, as well as community not-for-profit organizations with projects that can be completed before March 31, 2014, may apply for the grant.

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod says the funding is focused on those existing community facilities that really need upgrades.

“[When] we did the pre-budget consultations, we heard there’s a number of facilities that are existing that could really benefit. It’s a program that will see approximately $18 million come to British Columbia.”

The funding will support repairs and improvements to existing community infrastructure that is accessible to the public, on a cost-shared basis.

While it has a brief application time with the deadline just four weeks after the July 5 announcement, she notes the money can come through to organizations more quickly this way.

‘There’s a lot of needs out there that we think have already been identified and they have been waiting for an opportunity [to] move forward, so I think it’s appropriately a fairly quick turnaround.”

If funding remains available, there will be a second funding intake for applications in November, but McLeod says she encourages people to get into the first intake.

The national program provides $150 million to be delivered by regional development agencies across the country.

Details on project eligibility and application requirements are online at www.wd-deo.gc.ca.

For more information, contact Nicholas Insle, Office of the Minister, Western Economic Diversification by e-mail at Nicholas.Insley@wd-deo.gc.ca, or call toll-free at 1-888-338-9378 (for TTY call 1-877-303-3388).