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This is the latest in a string of positive economic developments for our region, and comes immediately after the expansion of the regional business partner programme and the increased resources available from NZTE and Callaghan Innovation.
Activate CEO Steve Breen

ECT's $50,000 for economic development

2 February 2016, Andrew Ashton, The Gisborne Herald.

Eastland Community Trust has approved a $50,000 grant to Activate Tairawhiti to help local businesses grow.

The grant will enable Activate Tairawhiti to support worthy economic development initiatives across the region.

The money will be allocated from the Prosperous (Regional Economic Growth) Fund and ECT general manager Leighton Evans said it would allow Activate Tairawhiti to deliver projects that support its strategic direction, but not necessarily fit the trust’s distributions strategy.

“Activate Tairawhiti has supported several applications for worthy economic development initiatives that haven’t quite met ECT’s funding criteria.

“It has become obvious to trustees that Activate Tairawhiti needs a small pool of funding to kick-start bright ideas. This grant will allow them to be even more agile and enable Activate Tairawhiti to seize further opportunities as they arise.”

Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen said it would complement the important work of the Eastland Community Trust and add to “the suite of resources” that Activate Tairawhiti had established over the past 12 months.

In addition to seed funding of $180,000 a year each from Gisborne District Council and ECT for three years, Activate Tairawhiti has secured $245,000 in additional funding over the past two months.

That included $125,000 from government to implement a regional action plan, an increase to the regional business partner programme with an additional $80,000 from NZTE and Callaghan Innovation, as well as additional $40,000 capability voucher funding from NZTE.

“The core funding provided to Activate Tairawhiti by GDC and Eastland Community Trust is giving Activate Tairawhiti the capability to focus on delivering a co-ordinated set of targeted economic development initiatives that benefit the region.

“This local commitment and support, combined with Activate Tairawhiti’s lobbying on behalf of the region, has resulted in other agencies and stakeholders having the confidence to provide additional resources to support our region’s economic growth.

“Activate Tairawhiti has had a number of business development opportunities presented to it that fall outside existing Eastland Community Trust funding criteria.

“Rather than see these fall by the wayside, Activate Tairawhiti has secured this $50,000 funding from Eastland Community Trust to give these opportunities the chance to prove themselves.

"The criteria around how this funding will be applied are still being defined. However, where businesses are putting their own resources on the line and there is a clear regional gain to be made from their success, Activate hopes to put match funding forward to support their efforts.

“At the same time Activate Tairawhiti has been putting in place a staircase of initiatives so wherever a person or business might be on their journey — whether having a great idea and wanting to turn it into a business, or a start-up business that is still establishing itself, through to larger more well established businesses — there is now a menu of support that allows businesses to take their next step in their growth and development."

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