Funding to assist with the cost of providing access
At the Walking Access Commission, we believe in free, certain and enduring public access to the outdoors. We know, however, that creating or improving public access can bring a financial cost, and so we’ve developed the Enhanced Access Fund to help ensure that money isn’t a barrier.
Since 2010, the Enhanced Access Fund has provided money for 91 different projects. We’d love to get some more good access projects going in your neck of the woods, so I strongly encourage community groups and individuals to consider applying this time round.
Grants are awarded twice per year, and the next round of applications closes on September 30. This year, the Commission will distribute up to $100,000 across the two funding rounds, with no limit to the number of applicants who can be funded. Any single project is limited to a maximum of $25,000.
The current funding priority is for the cost of securing access – for example, legal, resource consent or surveying costs. Other priorities include the provision of signage; installing gates, stiles or fencing; and administration costs.
Funding is available for all methods of public access, including walking, cycling and horse-riding, and the Commission has funded projects right across New Zealand (see map). Any funded project should be completed within two years of receiving the funding, and funding cannot be awarded retrospectively.
Recent examples of the projects funded include $1000 improved signage for existing fishing access on the Tukituki River, $5000 for surveying and legal costs for a bridle trail in Otago, and $2140 for the design and installation of signage to mark new public walking and mountain biking tracks in Whareroa Farm north of Wellington.
If you think the end of September is too soon to finalise your application, now is a great time to start on applications for the second funding round, which closes 31 March 2018. The available funding in the second round will depend on how much is spent in round one.
Your local Regional Field Advisor can help you with the application process, or discuss options to see what kinds of things you might be best placed to apply for funding for. To contact them, visit the Regional Field Advisor section of this website and find your area.
To find out more, or apply for funding, visit walkingaccess.govt.nz/our-work/enhanced-access-fund/.