In late August 2019, Bike North was invited to apply for one of the 2019 Hornsby Community Building Partnership (CBP) Grants funded and administered by the NSW Government.
The grants are open to incorporated not-for-profit bodies, such as local sporting groups, social and environment groups, school P & Cs and to local councils, for community infrastructure projects (in our case cycling related projects).
Ideas were sought from Bike North members as to how we might utilise such funds within the eligibility parameters for approving CBP grants. However this proved NOT to be a straight forward process. Among other things, a successful grant recipient must have “the capacity to deliver (any) project on time and within scope”.
Because Bike North is not a civil engineering outfit and does not own or lease any plant or equipment for the production of any physical outputs or infrastructure we would have to partner with another organisation [e.g. Hornsby Council ] to fulfil this requirement. But this then presents its own set of problems in relation to the granting of construction consents and Bike North is not a project management enterprise.
The CBP grant guidelines further specifically state that applications “must be made by a single organisation that will accept responsibility for the delivery of the project if the application is successful”. If Bike North were to partner with Hornsby Council in a project to install some useful ‘end of trip’ cycling infrastructure – for example a bike rack with a water bubbler and an ‘e’ bike charging-point outside Hornsby Library – the following problems arise:-
- Grant guidelines require that Council would have to provide matched funding for the project (which might be deemed ineligible anyway as such a project could be considered to be a core responsibility of Local Government);
- consent would have to be obtained for the equipment installation from the owners of the land on which it is installed and, for legal reasons, this may be difficult to resolve, especially within the Grant application timeframes;
- as Bike North would be the applicant for the CBP grant we would have to demonstrate our “capacity to deliver (any) project on time and within scope”, an undertaking we could not give, given Hornsby Council would be the actual project manager.
In such circumstances, while Bike North was grateful for the recognition of its contribution to the promotion of active transport in the Hornsby community, we decided to decline the invitation for CBP funding for this year.
We will of course, continue to explore with Hornsby Council the possibility of applying for any CBP grants in the future if ways can be found to satisfy prevailing grant eligibility criteria in a mutually agreeable fashion.