Lawrence’s new destination playground receives funding boost

30 Oct 2023

Media Release

Otago Community Trust has provided funding of over $2.5 million in support of a wide range of community projects in its October grants round.

On the back of recent news that $2 million had been approved to support the Waitaki Events Centre Trust, Otago Community Trust is also pleased to announce a $110,000 grant was approved last week to support the Lawrence Community Playground committee, which is being umbrellaed by the Lawrence Heritage and Cultural Charitable Trust with stage three of its destination playground development.

Keily Smith from the Lawrence Community Playground committee said the generous grant is a vital contribution to the third stage of what will be an exciting new destination playground for the small rural community of Lawrence.

This project is redeveloping the old Whitehaven Street playground in the centre of Lawrence. The first and second stages have involved fencing, securing the site, alongside installing two key items of playground equipment together with safety matting, with these completed we are now in the exciting position, of advancing the third and final stage, said Smith.

“This generous grant will help cover the purchase and installation of the remaining pieces of playground equipment which will include a web climber/infinity cube, sputnik, play chimes and the goldmining theme platform with sand activities.”

"We are delighted, we know this will be good for our community and a great place for families and visitors to enjoy.”

Otago Community Trust chief executive, Jemma Adams said the trust is very pleased to be offering funding support to assist projects which are strongly community led.

“Successful communities recognise that the future is something they can build for themselves. The Lawrence community have taken the time to develop a vision of the future they want, and we are pleased to be able to help them turn their dream into a reality.”

Adams highlights that several other grants approved in the October round were also for playground upgrades and development. A $50,000 grant was approved to Ardgowan School to assist with the cost of upgrading their covered outdoor play space and $20,000 was approved to Brockville School to help with the purchase and installation of new equipment for its junior playground.

It is very rewarding to be able to support our local schools in this capacity and help support the development of improved play spaces for our young tamariki, said Adams.

Other grants approved at the October board meeting included a $40,000 grant to Alexandra Community House to assist with modifying the Foyer area, a $25,000 grant approved to the Livingwell Disability Resource Centre supporting disability and health related information services across Otago and Aukaha (1997) Ltd Inc had a $5,000 grant approved to support hosting the national Strengthening Communities Hui that will run from the 19th to 22nd of November in Dunedin.

The Strengthening Communities Hui is the annual gathering of Environment Hubs Aotearoa, Community Energy Network and Zero Waste Network members and stakeholders.

In total Otago Community Trust granted $2,562,557 to 42 community organisations in October 2023, including $38,568 to four Arts & Culture organisations based in the Dunedin City boundary as part of the Arts & Culture Capability Fund jointly administrated with the Dunedin City Council.


Otago Community Trust Community Grants, October 2023


Alexandra Community House



Probus 14 Alexandra



Catlins Medical Centre (2017) Ltd



South Otago Agricultural & Pastoral Soc



Our Hut Heritage Hub



Clutha Valley Presbyterian Church



Startup Dunedin



Otago Accommodation Trust



Green Island Junior Cricket Club



Saddle Hill Foundation Trust



Otepoti Vikings Volleyball Club



Brockville School



West Taieri District Memorial Hall Society Inc



Aukaha (1997) Ltd



Saddle View Scouts



St Peter Chanel School



Coptic Orthodox Church



Caversham Baptist Church



Dunedin Beekeepers Club



Lawrence Heritage and Cultural Charitable Trust



Mosgiel Scout Group



Maungatua Presbyterian Church



Waitaki District Council - Community Events



CCS Disability Action Waitaki Inc



Ardgowan School



Waitaki Event Centre Trust



Waitaki Tongan Community Trust



Weston School



Oamaru Combined Churches Christmas Parcels Trust



Choirs Aotearoa NZ Trust



Royal New Zealand Ballet



Storytime Foundation



Livingwell Disability Resource Centre



Ronald McDonald House Charities NZ



Skeggs Foundation



Disc Golf Wanaka Inc



Challenge Wanaka Sports Trust



Wanaka Community Workshop Trust



Otago Community Trust / Dunedin City Council Arts Capability Grants, October 2023


Prospect Park Productions NZ



Otago Festival of the Arts Trust



Dunedin Dream Brokerage



Māori and Pasifika Education Trust