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In 2005 Denne Parkinson, Principal of Pokeno School, read about a Community Partnerships Loan Funding Scheme offered by Franklin District Council. In 2006 he decided to apply for it – and less than two years later the school, and the wider Pokeno community, now have a huge Recreation Shelter, thanks in part to the loan.
It (the loan) took us quite a few leaps forward in getting to this goal,” says Denne.
Franklin District Council gave a $20,000 interest free loan towards the recreation shelter, which fitted well with the purpose of the scheme to help fund capital improvement projects for community facilities throughout the District.
Pokeno School has a growing roll and needed a facility for assemblies and other events. However adding a hall building would mean students would lose valuable green space, something Denne wanted to avoid. This is even more important in Pokeno where the school play area is a play area for the community even outside of school hours.
The recreational centre was a perfect solution – it offered shelter, and even has an area set aside for a kitchen, but children can continue to play under it. A sports shed off one end stores movable basketball nets, gutter ball boards and even unicycles, which are taken out for the children to play with. Soon astroturf will be going down with permanent markings for netball and tennis.
“It’s something that will fill the gap until the community gets a recreation centre,” says Denne. It is also a facility which could be available for hire, allowing community events to happen there and which would help fund the loan repayments and future improvements. The latest Wheels and Heels was a huge success and the first event to use the shelter.
Franklin District Council is currently calling for applications for The Community Partnership interest free loan scheme. Applicants are invited from interested groups and organisations that have projects valued at $10,000 or more and which provide and develop cultural, social, educational and recreational facilities. The facilities must be on Council reserve land, Crown land vested in Council or land owned by a community organisation within Franklin. Applicant organisations do need to have legal status eg. Incorporated Society, and must be in a position to fund one-third of the intended project.
If you are interested, pick up an information pack from Council offices; download the information from www.franklin.govt.nz or call (09) 237 1300.
“It was a very easy process,” says Denne.
Applications close Friday 30 May 2008. Funds available in December.