The Enliven Places Projects Fund is for temporary projects to enliven vacant spaces, and is open to all.

The Fund is open. We are accepting applications at any time until May 2021, or until the Fund is exhausted.

The Enliven Places Projects Fund enables individuals, community groups and businesses to contribute to Christchurch’s regeneration with productive, positive and creative temporary projects that enliven vacant spaces. 

Diverse, innovative, experimental and amenity-enriching projects create buzz, improve wellbeing, offer a much-needed point of difference and builds on Christchurch’s reputation as a place for people, as well as a place in which businesses establish more easily.                                       

This small grant fund provides support to those seeking to temporarily turn vacant spaces – for example land awaiting development, buildings awaiting tenants, walls, hoardings and windows – into spaces that are vibrant, enlivened, greened or otherwise publicly activated. These activations are for public good and will take place while longer-term uses or tenancies are being determined, or works are yet to commence.

Projects will be considered that are well-planned and have partnerships in place.

To be eligible for this fund, proposed projects must demonstrate how they meet the below criteria:

  • Attract residents and visitors through the use of a vacant space (site or building) to support regeneration and the return of businesses (must be able to attract at least 200 people for grants of less than $5000 and 500 people for grants over $5000)
  • Support activities and initiatives that reflect Christchurch’s unique identity
  • Create vibrancy and improve the environment, experience and activity for residents, visitors and businesses
  • Will “activate” vacant space awaiting development (e.g. whether vacant land awaiting development, buildings awaiting tenancy, walls facing vacant site) for primarily public benefit
  • Support central city and suburban centres through forming clusters of activity
  • Where projects are delivered in buildings awaiting longer-term tenants, projects will support increased foot traffic and patronage for neighbouring businesses
  • Offer added value: such as potential for extended duration, innovation, diversity and significant private partnership
  • Project will be delivered within four months of grant payment
  • Must achieve a creative, high quality outcome

In 2020/21 $100,000 is available for grants through the Enliven Places Projects Fund. 

Projects will normally be considered for support of up to 50% of the total value of the project. This recognises that the grant funding will be a proportion of the funding, sponsorship and in-kind support necessary to deliver a project.

This is a small grant fund. Proposals above $5000 will need to demonstrate added value through extended duration, significant visitation or public interest, with this being viewed as a sliding scale as the total grant funding sought increases.

Decisions on grants of more than $15,000 require a decision from elected members, while applications under $15,000 are reviewed by a panel made of Council staff and a community representative.

Grants are an unconditional gift and therefore not subject to GST. Successful applicants will be awarded grants exclusive of GST. GST cannot be paid.

Book a pre-application meeting with the Fund Advisor prior to submitting an application. Contact

Review the details on this web page, and read through the application documents: 

Payment of grants will be made following signing of a funding agreement by both parties. Payment may also be made at an agreed time prior to 30 June in any given year. Agreements will be standardised to support prompt payment of grants.

Funding agreements will state clear expectations for both parties. In particular, funds are to be used as set out in the Funding Agreement.

Grantees will be expected to provide a brief report detailing the success of their project, including a description of the outcomes achieved against the criteria and a financial summary.

Successful projects will be required to hold Public Liability Insurance, a Health and Safety Management Plan and comply with relevant regulations and consents.

The following will not generally be funded:

  • Retrospective costs incurred or settled before the agreed commencement date of the funding agreement
  • Debt servicing or refinancing costs
  • Stock or capital market investment
  • Gambling or prize money
  • Entertainment costs (except for costs directly linked to volunteer recognition)
  • Payment of any legal expenditure, including costs or expenditures related to mediation disputes or ACC, Employment Tribunal, Small Claims Tribunal, Professional or Disciplinary Body hearings
  • Purchase of land and buildings
  • Building maintenance or facility design, development and renovation costs
  • Activities or initiatives where the primary purpose is to promote religious ministry, political objectives, commercial or profit-oriented interests
  • Fundraising
  • Medical or healthcare costs – including treatment and insurance fees
  • Money that will be redistributed as grant funding, sponsorship, donations, bequests, aid funding or aid to other recipients
  • Payment of fines, court costs, mediation costs, IRD penalties or retrospective tax payments
  • Purchase of vehicles and any related ongoing maintenance, repair, overhead costs or road user charges
  • Private social functions
  • Air travel, accommodation, hotel/motel expenses
  • Conference fees and costs
  • Projects that have received other Council funding in the same financial year
  • Projects that are considered to be the primary responsibility of local or central government or another funding body. An exception may be where public sites are brokered by Life in Vacant Spaces

Vacant sites may be identified by and brokered through Life in vacant spaces(external link). Legal access agreements and access to public liability insurance are also available.

The Council provides an incentive to encourage temporary use of vacant land and buildings, this enables offsetting of rates for sites used for temporary projects. See our rates incentive for property owners.

Community-led projects supported by the fund