For the first time in nearly nine years, Tauranga's council will hold an open application round for funding from two trusts it administers.

The council's community and culture committee agreed on Tuesday to distribute $146,415 of interest income from the Stewart Trust and $11,444 from the Carruthers Trust to Tauranga community groups.

The last contestable round of funding from the trusts was held in 2009, when the Stewart fund alone had $538,000 to give out, according to a report by Project Tauranga manager, Michael Vujnovich.

He said low interest rates in recent years were partly to blame for the slow growth of the funds since then.

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The trusts have given out some individual grants in the meantime, including $118,000 to the Tauranga Night Shelter Trust in 2014 and $10,000 to the Foodbank every year since 2010 - all from the Stewart Trust, which is reserved for the relief of poverty.

In the meeting councillor Leeanne Brown proposed setting aside $10,000 for the Tauranga Community Foodbank from the contestable amount but withdrew after other councillors raised concerns about complications.

The Carruthers Trust is set aside for essential maintenance to properties occupied by aged or needy people.

A six-week application period was expected to open in April, with decisions made in June.