Northumberland County Councilors Hear of Diminishing Grant Opportunities

In City Hall

By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
When about 40% of Northumberland County’s budget is accounted for by grants and subsidies, county councillors are keenly interested in how the grant process is going.

At the July Corporate Support Committee meeting, Grant Writer Jennifer Hardy-Parr gave her biannual report on grant activity.

Hardy-Parr began with figures for the calendar years 2018 through 2023, when the county led 54 successful applications (which brought in $61,671,487.43) and supported the development of 13 successful applications (securing $1,296,283.62).

Much of this success can be accounted for by the large-scale counter-pandemic fiscal programs offered at both Federal and provincial level. However, the dawn of 2023 finds the country emerging from the height of the pandemic and a more austere environment for accessing grants.

Between Jan. 1 and June 14, two applications led by the grant writer have been confirmed as successful vs. nine unsuccessful ones.

The successful applications brought in $105,000. That would be $100,000 from Employment and Social Development Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Fund (which will see accessible emergency exits installed at county headquarters) and $5,000 from Cameco’s Sponsorship Fund (which supported the county’s recent Diversity Festival and Ethno-Gourmet Food Truck Fair.

At this time, no decision has yet been received on seven applications (worth a total of $735,860), and five applications are being developed.

Hardy-Parr provided a comprehensive picture of this particular job. Maximizing opportunities to secure funding from government and private sources that will help deliver projects, programs and services is just the beginning, she said. In this position, she also strives to cultivate funder relationships in order to get a better picture of what opportunities there may be, for example, and to share timely advice to help stakeholders (including other county departments) with their efforts to secure funding opportunities.

Examining Federal and provincial budgets, she anticipates the focus of funding opportunities that may arise will likely focus on the green economy, the high cost of living, public health care, infrastructure, economic renewal, housing and homelessness, and pervasive labour shortages.

Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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