Media release

ORC’s ECO Fund is open for applications from 1 October

Wednesday 30 September 2020

The Otago Regional Council’s (ORC) ECO Fund supports community-driven projects that protect and enhance Otago’s environment. The fund is receiving applications from 1 October to 20 October.

The ECO Fund provides $250,000 per year in contestable funding for community-focused groups with environmental projects in the areas of water, biodiversity, climate change and urban development. $125,000 of funding is available in this round.

ORC chair of the ECO Fund Decision Panel Cr Michael Deaker encouraged interested groups to consider applying to the Fund.

“Anyone who thinks they may have an environmental project that fits the ECO Fund bill should have a look at the criteria and get in touch with the ORC. Our staff will be able to advise you on whether your project is eligible, and make suggestions for your application.”

“The ECO Fund is ORC’s way of empowering communities throughout our region to take initiative in their own backyards. We’ve supported dozens of great projects in the last few years, and look forward to extending that list with this round of funding.”

One of the ECO Fund’s points of difference is that it funds administration work as well as shovel time, Cr Deaker said.

“We’ve learned from many past ECO Fund projects that often what a group really needs is for someone to be able to dedicate time to getting everything organised. The ECO Fund is particularly helpful for those groups because it funds administrative support, as well as work on the ground.”

After the application period closes, a decision panel of Councillors will choose how to distribute funds to the successful applicants.

Potential applicants are encouraged to get in touch for advice and information on eligibility before lodging their application, by contacting

For more information on how to apply, and to check out the projects ORC have funded in the past, visit