Program guidelines


Program Guidelines

Download the program guidelines

City Grants program guidelines (PDF)

City Grants program guidelines (Word)

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1. The Pitch

The City Renewal Authority is calling on creative individuals, groups or organisations to deliver place-making projects that will contribute to the vitality and renewal of Civic, Braddon, and Acton’s public places.

We believe that urban renewal is a continuous process that should be people-focused, design-led, and sustainable. We believe that this can only be achieved through the concerted efforts of government and our community.

Through City Grants we are looking to our community to create and deliver important projects that will contribute to the cultural and sustainable development of our city’s public places - think arts activities, events, installations and more. We want to give you a platform to excel in your area of expertise and focus your skills and creativity on delivering projects that build on the story and character of the space it will be delivered. With your help, we want to strengthen our community’s connection to the public spaces of Civic, Braddon and Acton. We’re looking for engaging projects that enrich the place experience – experiences that are extraordinary and bring our community back to the city centre again and again.

1.1. What about the COVID-19 public health emergency?

The current COVID-19 public health emergency has dramatically affected our community’s lives, including how we use public space. How long the emergency will last, and its ongoing impacts are unclear.

We believe that, with some innovative thinking and planning, our grant recipients can be well placed to deliver important place-making outcomes for our city over this period.

Whilst the emergency continues, we are looking to our grant recipients to develop their projects understanding that there is no known end date to this emergency, and to keep up to date with all requirements and impacts related to their project.

Following the emergency, we do not know what the ongoing impacts will be, but we cannot assume that things will go back to the way they were, including how people use public space. This is an opportunity to use your innovation to contribute to the cultural and sustainable development of our city’s public places in this new environment. As a grant applicant, in your application you will need to acknowledge the uncertainty that exists and demonstrate your ability to be flexible and adaptable to change in the planning and delivery of your project.

1.2. What is place-making?

Place-making is a place-led collaborative process to create places that people love and feel connected to.

1.3. Primary Objective – What’s the purpose of this program?

To develop and support the vitality of Civic, Braddon and Acton through creative and engaging place-making initiatives that strengthen our community’s connection to Civic, Braddon and Acton’s public spaces and encourage habitual visitation.

1.4. Outcomes – What do we expect you to do?

City Grants funds projects that:

  • Strengthen our community’s connection to Civic, Braddon and Acton’s public places and encourage habitual visitation;
  • Enrich the place experience through creative, innovative, diverse, and inclusive activity that enhances the individual character and amenity of each place;
  • Involve and build capacity within our community;
  • Engage with local businesses from the CCMIL area and benefit the local economy; and
  • Are committed to sustainable practices (refer to 5.3.).

1.5. I want in! What do I need to do?

If this sounds like something that you would like to be a part of, read on.

And don’t forget, we’re here to help.

2. Key Details

Tier 1 Grants

Tier 2 Grants

Funding available

Up to $10,000

Between $10,001 and $50,000

Open for applications

Open twice for activity in 2020-21:

· The first round will open May 2020 for activities from 1 September to 30 June 2021;

· The second round will open in September 2020 for activities from 1 January to 30 June 2021.

Open once for activity in 2020-21:

· The round will open March 2020 for activities from 1 September 2020 to 30 June 2021.

Assessment

Applications are assessed by the City Renewal Authority.

Applications are assessed by an independent panel consisting of representatives from relevant Government agencies and external stakeholders, including at least one levy payer or representative.

Project period

Ten months (up to 12 months can be requested where required)

Ten months (up to 24 months can be requested where required).

3. Background

City Grants is administered by the City Renewal Authority and funded through both the City Centre and Marketing Improvement Levy (CCMIL) and the City Renewal Authority.

3.1. City Renewal Authority

The City Renewal Authority was established by the ACT Government on 1 July 2017 to lead urban renewal in the City Renewal Precinct (the Precinct).

Our Vision - Our precinct will be the vital heart of a dynamic and internationally competitive city, cherished by its people.

Our Mission - We will contribute economic growth and diversity to Canberra’s city community by delivering, people-focused, design-led, sustainable and commercially astute projects and programs using sound management processes.

3.2. City Centre and Marketing Improvement Levy (CCMIL)

The Levy is collected as a hypothecated tax paid by owners of commercial property within the Levy collection zone. The City Renewal Authority administer these funds, delivering services and programs that aim to increase activity and vibrancy within the Levy area

Levy Vision - The CCMIL is a partnership between Levy payers, the City Renewal Authority and the ACT Government that supports actions which contribute to the long-tern sustainable growth, economic prosperity, culture, creativity and vibrancy of the Levy Collection Zone.

4. Eligible Projects

4.1. Types of Projects Supported

City Grants can support a range of different projects. All applications that demonstrate that they support the primary objective and the outcomes of City Grants will be considered. Funded projects could include, but are not limited to:

· Arts activities

· Events

· Short-term installations

· Marketing and promotion

· Research and development

4.2. Eligible Area

Funded activity must occur within the CCMIL collection zone and in the section of Haig Park bordered by Girrahween Street, Northbourne Avenue, Henty Street, and Torrens Street.

Eligible Area

Map of the City Grants Eligible Area

5. Strategic and Program Alignment

5.1. Strategic Alignment

City Grants aligns with the City Renewal Authority’s 2025 Strategic Plan and the objectives of the City Centre and Marketing Improvement Levy (CCMIL).

5.1.1. 2025 Strategic Plan

Of the Authority’s five strategic goals, City Grants supports Goal 1 and 3 in particular:

Goal 1 - ‘Curation of high-quality places and precinct development, taking a people-focused and design-led approach’.

Goal 3 – ‘Application of robust and innovative social and environmental sustainability principles and programs that will underpin precinct-wide renewal’.

5.1.2. City Centre Marketing and Improvement Levy, Performance and Accountability Framework

The Levy objectives are defined in the CCMIL Performance and Accountability Framework (available at www.act.gov.au/cityrenewal/documents), this document is informed by feedback received from levy payers and key stakeholders. Of the Levy’s five objectives, City Grants most closely aligns to Objectives 1, 2 and 4.

Objective 1 – ‘Contribute to increased visitation and economic activity within the city centre.’

Objective 2 – ‘Contribute to additional cleaning, graffiti removal, public lighting, security or crowd control, minor public works, street furniture, beautification and high-quality events in the City Centre.’

Objective 4 – ‘Administer funding for a discrete program of works which is coordinated, integrated and complementary with the broader work of CRA and the Government.’

5.1.3. Sustainability Strategy

City Grants supports all four key principles of the Authority’s Sustainability Strategy, including:

Climate-wise design – Healthy, comfortable places for people and nature, adapted to climate change.

Social and economic vibrancy - Diverse, thriving neighbourhoods with a public realm to support social connectedness and community health and wellbeing.

Sustainable use of resources - Highly efficient use of natural resources, capturing and reusing surpluses.

Active travel - Healthy, low-impact active travel infrastructure that enhances walking and cycling experiences and uptake.

For more details on the Authority’s position on sustainability and opportunities for City Grants applicants to incorporate sustainable practices into their project refer to ‘6.3. Contributing to a sustainable city’.

5.2. Program Alignment

5.2.1 City Place Activation Program

City Grants is aligned with the City Renewal Authority’s broader ‘City Place Activation Program’.

Through this Program the City Renewal Authority delivers City Place Management Services and a seasonal program of events.

City Grants provides our community with an opportunity to contribute to this broader program to develop and support the vitality of Civic, Braddon and Acton.

City Place Management Services

City Place Management Services are defined as curating, activating and maintaining high-quality public places to foster public life, visitation, business activities and events in the city centre. This includes:

· A coordinated cleaning, horticultural and maintenance program to improve the presentation of public places in the levy area.

· A program of day-to-day place interventions welcoming visitors and inviting them to stay longer, e.g. additional seating, planter boxes, shade umbrellas, bump-in and bump-out of beanbags and deck chairs, entertainment programs.

· Oversight of the seasonal events calendar and support through bump-in and bump-out, cleaning and maintenance.

As well as enhancing people’s experiences in the city, the day-to-day interventions and programs are testing improvements to public places and how they are experienced by users. The program and its evaluation are helping to inform the City Renewal Authority’s ongoing program of public realm design improvements and public place upgrades.

Seasonal program of events

Building on the day-to-day City Place Management Services, the City Place Activation Program also delivers a seasonal program of events. As an indication of what the program of events for 2020 and 2021 will include, the 2019 program consisted of the following

  • March – Enlighten in the city (celebrating the Enlighten Festival)
  • April – Pop-up play activity (during the school holidays)
  • July – Winter festival in the city (during the school holidays)
  • October – Floriade in the city (integrated into Floriade)
  • October - Pop-up play activity (during the school holidays)
  • December – Christmas in the city (integrated into the New Years Eve in the City event)

5.2.2.Braddon Place Plan

Braddon is an exciting, eclectic, rapidly changing suburb and the Braddon Place Plan sets out short, medium and long-term actions that seek to guide the development of Braddon’s urban areas. The actions set out in the Plan are underpinned by four themes of Braddon’s identity that were identified following extensive community consultation. They are proudly urban; strategically gritty, next nature, and people powered.

City Grants funding can support projects that contribute to the actions of this Plan. The Braddon Place Plan is available on the City Renewal Authority website at https://www.act.gov.au/cityrenewal/documents.

5.2.3. Haig Park Place Plan

Haig Park is an important centrally located community green space which is brimming with potential. The Haig Park Place Plan provides a path toward making Haig Park a great park i.e. a place of delight and possibility. The Place Plan utilises a community-led approach to goal setting, renewal and programming and is intended to be used as a guiding document to implement and evaluate actions.

City Grants funding can support projects that contribute to the actions of this Plan if the funded activity is to occur within the eligible area (refer to 4.2. Eligible Area). The Haig Park Place Plan is available on the City Renewal Authority website at https://www.act.gov.au/cityrenewal/documents.

5.3. Contributing to a sustainable city

The City Renewal Authority is committed to creating sustainable places that demonstrate both environmental and social sustainability. This includes improving walkability and cycling infrastructure, greenspace and connecting people with nature, using resources wisely (for example water, energy and creating less waste), creating places and activities that help people to connect with others and improve people’s health and well-being.

The City Renewal Authority encourages projects to identify and address their impact on the environment – this could be by avoiding single use plastic, selecting materials that can be reused or have recycled content, using water and energy efficient appliances and technology, supporting people to walk, ride and take public transport as a first choice, supporting the development of climate friendly and biodiverse places.

The City Renewal Authority’s Sustainability Strategy is available on the City Renewal Authority website at https://www.act.gov.au/cityrenewal/documents.

For practical advice on how to save energy and water, reduce waste and cut greenhouse gas emissions, refer to the Actsmart website at https://www.actsmart.act.gov.au/. The website provides details of the range of ACT Government programs and assistance that is available, including the free Public Event Recycling Program.

6. Funding Available

6.1. Funding Tiers

To support projects of various sizes and scales, City Grants consists of a two-tier funding model:

  • Tier 1 – Funding up to $10,000
  • Tier 2 – Funding between $10,001 and $50,000

6.1.1. Tier 1

Tier 1 grants provide up to $10,000 to support a project. The application process for Tier 1 grants is streamlined with less eligibility requirements for applicants and a shorter application form.

6.1.2. Tier 2

Tier 2 grants provide between $10,001 and $50,000 to support projects that will have a significant impact on Civic, Braddon and/or Acton. The application process for Tier 2 grants requires a higher level of detail, including evidence of a robust planned approach.

6.2. Eligible Uses of Funding

Funding may contribute to any costs, excluding those listed at 2.3, that support the activity.

6.3. Ineligible Uses of Funding

Activities that will not be considered for funding include:

  • Business establishment fees
  • Capital works, including repairs and maintenance
  • Core business
  • General administrative and management costs associated in operating the organisation
  • Legal costs
  • Office equipment
  • Prize money
  • Donations
  • Professional development or study tours
  • Requests for retrospective funding

6.4. Required Funding Allocation for Evaluation

All applicants are required to allocate a minimum of five (5) percent of their requested grant funding to evaluation, including measuring attendance, unless they can demonstrate strong reasoning as to why this isn’t appropriate or necessary for their project.

Refer to ‘9.5 Measuring Success’ for more details regarding project evaluation.

7. Who can apply

7.1. Applicant Eligibility Criteria

City Grants funding is open to applications from individuals, groups and organisations.

Groups, unincorporated associations, and other bodies with no legal status must nominate an individual member of the group to take legal and financial responsibility for any funding.

Applicants or their chosen auspicing entity must:

Tier 1

Tier 2

Be Australian citizens, have permanent resident status in Australia, or, if not a permanent resident, be on a temporary Australian VISA which expires no less than two years from the date of the application.

Be Australian citizens, have permanent resident status in Australia, or, if not a permanent resident, be on a temporary Australian VISA which expires no less than two years from the date of the application.

Have an Australian Business Number (ABN), or complete the Australian Tax Office’s ‘Statement by a supplier’ form.

Have an Australian Business Number (ABN).

Have current Public Liability Insurance coverage to a minimum level of $10,000,000.

Have current Public Liability Insurance coverage to a minimum level of $10,000,000.

Have satisfactorily acquitted all previous grants provided by the City Renewal Authority and any other ACT Government agency (except for current year’s funding).

Have satisfactorily acquitted all previous grants provided by the City Renewal Authority and any other ACT Government agency (except for current year’s funding).

Be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) if applicable.

7.2. Auspiced Funding

If the applicant is unable to satisfy the Applicant Eligibility Criteria they will need to be auspiced by an entity that does satisfy the criteria.

If the application is successful, the auspicing entity will be responsible for:

  • Co-signing the Deed of Grant;
  • Receiving and administering the funding;
  • Providing the funds to the grant recipient;
  • Ensuring, to the best of their ability, that the grant is used for the purpose for which it was provided; and
  • Providing the grant recipient with an itemised financial statement at the end of the project which clearly identifies how the grant was expended.
  • The grant recipient will be responsible for:
  • Confirming the necessary arrangements with the administering entity;
  • Co-signing the Deed of Grant;
  • Overall management and delivery of the project;
  • Providing all necessary information to the administering entity to allow them complete the itemised financial statement at the end of the project; and
  • Completing the acquittal process as per item ‘4.5. Acquittal of Funding’.

8. Applying for Funding

8.1. How to apply

Applications for both Tier 1 and Tier 2 grants are made through the online grants portal at https://actgovt.smartygrants.com.au/.

If, for accessibility reasons, you are unable to apply online, please contact the City Renewal Authority for assistance.

Applications must be received by the due time and date, as outlined on the online portal. Late applications will not be accepted.

8.2. Permissions and approvals

Before starting any project, your organisation and event must meet all planning, health, environmental, legal and insurance requirements under Australian and Territory laws.

It is strongly recommended that all applicants contact the Events and Business Coordination team within Access Canberra (eventapprovals@act.gov.au) for advice on regulatory approvals prior to submitting an application through City Grants.

8.3. Provision of Quotes

Applicants should provide a minimum of one (preferably two) quotes for significant expenditure items (as a guide, for items costing more than $500).

8.4. Benefits for businesses from within the CCMIL area

All applicants should demonstrate how local businesses from within the CCMIL area will benefit from their proposed project.

8.5. Previous City Grants recipients

Projects that have previously received funding through City Grants are eligible to apply again. However, each round all applications are assessed on relative merit and therefore funding should not be considered automatic or anticipated. Repeat applicants should acknowledge funding previously received through City Grants and demonstrate how this new application for funding will address the assessment criteria (refer to 8.5.2.).

8.6. Commercial Projects

8.6.1. Definition

For the purposes of the City Grants, commercial projects are defined as projects that are expected to return a profit for the applicant.

8.6.2. Return on Investment

If a project is commercial the applicant must demonstrate a return on investment financially for the City Renewal Authority and/or economically for the surrounding businesses.

8.7. Assessment

8.7.1. Project Eligibility and General Feasibility

All applicants that meet the applicant eligibility requirements will have their application reviewed for project eligibility and general feasibility, including:

Project Dates

The project must occur within the eligible project period (refer to 2. Key Details).

Project Location

The project must occur within the eligible area (refer to 4.2. Eligible Area).

Project Budget

The application must include a sufficiently detailed budget.

Permissions and Approvals

The application must demonstrate adequate understanding of the required permissions and approvals for their project.

Application Quality

The application must provide sufficient information to make an informed assessment.

Applicant History

The applicant has acquitted previous funding through the City Grants or other ACT Government entities to a high standard.

8.7.2. Assessment Criteria

Applications that meet all the eligibility and general feasibility requirements will be assessed against the following criteria in meeting the primary objective and outcomes of City Grants.

Need

How will the project complement and/or add to the City Place Activation Program (refer to 5.2.1.)?

If located in Braddon, will the project achieve or complement an action from the Braddon Place Plan (refer to 5.2.2.)?

If located in Haig Park, will the project achieve or complement an action from the Haig Park Place Plan (refer to 5.2.3.)?

How is the project important to the place in Civic, Braddon or Acton that it will be delivered?

Benefit

How does the project:

· meet the primary objective of the program (refer to 1.2.)?

· contribute to the outcomes of the program (refer to 1.3.)?

· demonstrate a sound investment and leverage City Grant funding for maximum benefit?

Commercial Projects only (refer to 8.5. Commercial Projects):

How will the project deliver a return on investment financially for the City Renewal Authority and/or economically for the surrounding businesses?

Feasibility

Can the project be delivered on time and within budget?

Has the applicant demonstrated

· their capability to deliver the project?

· a demonstrated understanding of any risks relating to the grant proposal and how they would be managed?

· an understanding of and ability to obtain any permissions or approvals required to deliver the project?

8.7.3. Assessment Process

All applications will be processed by the City Renewal Authority for applicant eligibility, project eligibility, and general feasibility.

Following this, separate assessment processes apply for Tier 1 and Tier 2 applications.

Tier 1

Tier 2

1

All applications will be processed by the City Renewal Authority for applicant eligibility (refer to 3.1. Applicant Eligibility), and project eligibility and general feasibility (refer to 3.7.1 Project Eligibility and General Feasibility).

2

Applications are assessed against the City Grants assessment criteria by the City Renewal Authority.

Applications are assessed by an independent panel consisting of representatives from relevant Government agencies and external stakeholders, including at least one levy payer or representative.

Panel meetings will be facilitated by the City Renewal Authority.

3

City Renewal Authority staff will then prepare a brief seeking CEO approval of recommended applications for funding.

4

The City Renewal Authority will contact applicants to advise whether their application was successful or unsuccessful.

8.7.4. Tier Funding Allocation

The amount of funding allocated to fund Tier 1 and Tier 2 grants is determined by the City Renewal Authority based on the amount and quality of applications received.

9. Successful Applications

9.1. Payment Process

Successful applicants will receive a letter from the City Renewal Authority with a Deed of Grant attached and instructions for the payment process.

Payments can take up to 30 days to process following the execution of the deed and upon receipt of an invoice.

9.1.1. Tier 1 Payments

Tier 1 grants will be paid in one instalment following the execution of the Deed of Grant (unless otherwise stipulated in the Deed of Grant).

9.1.2. Tier 2 Payments

For Tier 2 grants, the grant payment will be split as follows (unless otherwise stipulated in the Deed of Grant):

  • 75 per cent of the grant will be paid once the Deed of Grant has been executed.
  • 25 per cent of the grant will be paid once the acquittal has been accepted by the City Renewal Authority.

9.2. Goods and Services Tax (GST)

GST is payable to applicants that receive funding through this program if they are GST registered with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and can provide an Australian Business Number (ABN). For successful applicants that are registered for GST the City Renewal Authority will increase the funding amount by 10% after receipt of a tax Invoice. Successful applicants that are not registered for GST will not have their funding increased by 10%.

9.3. Publication

All successful applicants, their proposed activity and the funded amount will be published on the City Renewal Authority website.

9.4. Conditions of Funding

The declaration on the application form certifies all information provided in the application is true and correct. Action may be taken for repayment of any funding made where information contained in the application is subsequently found to be false or the funding is not used for its approved purpose.

All recipients must:

  • be accountable for funds received from the City Renewal Authority and adhere to all conditions and guidelines of City Grants;
  • seek written approval from the City Renewal Authority to make any variation to the project, as detailed in the application form. Requests to amend the scope of the project need to be addressed to the CEO, City Renewal Authority and clearly outline why the change of purpose is required. Applicants should not assume that a change of purpose request will be approved;
  • comply with the ACT Government’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policy;
  • be able to demonstrate that every effort is being made to ensure that the principles of access and equality are guiding the development of the organisation and any programs that it conducts; and
  • provide suitable acknowledgment of the financial support provided by the City Renewal Authority under this program including:
    • An acknowledgement in all documents, brochures, books, articles, newsletters, other artistic works or literary works or advertising, and provide all of these to the City Renewal Authority for approval prior to publishing anything bearing the City Renewal Authority logo;
    • acknowledge the funding provided through the program in any public event, media release or media coverage; and
    • on reasonable notice, invite the City Renewal Authority to participate in any public event, media release or media coverage related to the funded activity.

9.5. Measuring Success

Recipients are required to evaluate the success of their project.

Recipients are required to measure changes that they anticipate will occur if the expected outcomes of the project occur. For example, if a recipient’s expected outcome is that their project will enhance the place experience, the change could be that most participants respond positively to the project, and this could be measured by conducting a survey or using a participant observation tool.

Tier 1 recipients are required to measure at least two (2) changes.

Tier 2 recipients are required to measure at least three (3) changes.

Measures of success could include, but are not limited to:

  • Attendance – Required, unless the recipient has demonstrated strong reasoning as to why this isn’t appropriate or necessary for their project;
  • Public sentiment; and
  • Stakeholder and business sentiment.

9.6. Project Progress Report

Recipients are required to submit a project progress report for approval by the Authority six (6) weeks prior to the project delivery date, unless otherwise agreed to by the Authority. The template for the report will be included with the Deed of Grant.

9.7. Acquittal of Funding

Recipients are required to acquit funding provided through City Grants within six weeks after the conclusion of the funding period. The acquittal must include:

· A completed Acquittal form, certifying that the funding has been utilised in accordance with the Conditions and Guidelines of City Grants;

· a copy of the relevant audited financial statement or invoices, receipts, bank statements or other financial documentation that clearly identifies the income and expenditure of the funding;

· documentation that clearly identifies the income and expenditure of the funding, signed by a registered accountant or the official auditor of the organisation (Tier 2 only); and

· A project evaluation report which must include attendance data and photos, which can be used by the City Renewal Authority. The template for the report will be included with the Deed of Grant.

No further financial assistance will be provided to any applicant until all grants provided by the City Renewal Authority, and any other ACT Government agency, (except for current year’s funding) have been successfully acquitted.

10. Useful Contacts and Links

· City Renewal Authority, www.act.gov.au/cityrenewal

o For information about the City Renewal Authority, it’s current projects and strategic documentation (www.act.gov.au/cityrenewal/documents).

o The City Centre and Marketing Improvement Levy (CCMIL) Performance and Accountability Framework is also available at www.act.gov.au/cityrenewal/documents.

· City Renewal Authority Brand Resource Centre, www.cityrenewalcbrbrand.com

o For information about using the City Renewal Authority brand and promoting your project, including the ‘Good Grants Toolkit’ which has four tools: a communication content template; tone of voice guide; design guide; and promotional ideas.

· Access Canberra, www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au

o For details regarding permissions and approvals e.g. for land use and licensing.

· ACTMAPi, www.actmapi.act.gov.au

o A map tool that assists people to access ACT Government location information.

· Actsmart, www.actsmart.act.gov.au

o For details of ACT Government programs and assistance that will help save energy and water, reduce waste and cut greenhouse gas emissions, including details of the free Public Event Recycling Program.

· Arts ACT, www.arts.act.gov.au

o For information about the Arts in the ACT including available support for artists, facilities, policies and upcoming events and activities.

· Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development, www.environment.act.gov.au

o For information regarding environment and sustainability strategies and policies and the Actsmart program.

· Events ACT, www.events.act.gov.au

o For information about event support provided through Events ACT as well as upcoming events in the ACT.

· Project for Public Spaces, www.pps.org

o A non for profit organisation providing information and resources assisting people to “create and sustain public spaces that build strong communities”.

· Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS), www.tccs.act.gov.au

o For information regarding land applications and approvals, road closures etc.

· Visit Canberra, www.visitcanberra.com.au

o For tourist-focused information about Canberra, including current and upcoming activities across the ACT.

Map of the City Grants Eligible Area