$1 Million Fund for Regional Events Now Open


$1 Million Fund for Regional Events Now Open!

Regional communities – in particular those affected by bushfires and drought – can now apply for $1 million worth of grants to deliver events that attract visitors and provide an economic boost to local businesses.
The NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, on Friday opened the Regional Event Fund as part of the NSW Government’s $10 million Tourism Recovery package through two streams: the Flagship Event Fund and a new Micro Event Fund.
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said regional event organisers, associations, Local Government authorities and community groups would benefit from the targeted events program throughout 2020.
“Events are really important for regional communities because they give people from outside the town or area extra motivation to visit, stay ‘locally’ and spend ‘locally’,” Minister Ayres said.
“On top of this, events stimulate regional economies through engaging local businesses such as food and beverage and infrastructure suppliers, tradespeople and staff, who all contribute to the delivery of a successful event.”
“The Destination NSW regional event funding programs will give organisers a chance to put forward sporting, arts, cultural and lifestyle events that bring an economic and social boost to their town.”
The two funding streams now open will offer:
  • Flagship Event Fund – grants of $20,000 to support event marketing activities to attract visitors from outside their immediate regions and drive tourism.
  • Micro Event Fund – one-off grants of $10,000 to community-based events in bushfire or drought-affected areas with total operating budgets of $75,000 or less that have the capacity to bring together local communities, attract visitation and stimulate local economies.
To be eligible events must be delivered between 1 May and 31 December 2020. Events in bushfire-affected areas that will be held in March and April across Easter and the school holiday period may be eligible for Federal Government grants via Austrade. Event owners can seek guidance from Austrade, Destination NSW, Destination Networks and local councils about relevant grant applications.
“This State funding complements the Commonwealth’s recovery grants and will provide short-to-medium term tactical support to regional communities that we know are hurting as a result of devastating bushfires and drought,” Minister Ayres said.
The NSW Government’s $10 million Tourism Recovery package announced earlier this month encourages visitation across NSW through a social media-led marketing campaign – Now’s The Time To Love NSW – partnership campaigns and direct assistance to business to develop, promote and sell their tourism products.
Applications are now open and close on Wednesday 25 March 2020.
Click to Register
Visitor Economy Fire Recovery Summit at Willinga Park 

Last Thursday we hosted the joint summit with Destination Southern NSW at the spectacular Willinga Park in Bawley Point. What a great turnout with a variety of industry sectors coming together from the 6 local government areas along the whole South Coast, who were joined by colleagues from the inland regions of Southern Highlands, Wollondilly, Snowies and Tablelands, to hear about the many initiatives being rolled out as part of the bushfire recovery effort.

Delegates heard about the campaigns, toolkits and assistance available from Tourism Australia, Regional NSW, Destination NSW, NPWS along with locally led visitor economy recovery campaigns and actions from Shoalhaven, Southern Highlands, Eurobodalla and Sapphire Coast.

The audience was enlightened with valuable insights from Graeme Haycraft, who led the way with a visitor comeback campaign following the Marysville fires of 2009.

We extend our thanks to our generous host Terry Snow who provided an insight into the world-class equestrian and conference facility he has built at Willinga Park during his personally guided tour as they prepared for the ‘Dressage by The Sea’ event. 
Regional Conferencing and Events  

As part of the strategy to drive additional mid-week visitation through the development of the regional conferencing and event sector, DSSS and Destination NSW supported the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven to attend AIME – the Asia Pacific Incentives Meeting Event held in Melbourne. This is Australia’s leading trade event for the meetings and event industry and is a great platform for industry decision-makers to connect and to gain knowledge of the fabulous venues and facilities on offer in regional NSW.