This grant supports existing iconic regional events by funding the operational improvements and infrastructure needed to boost attendance and improve visitor experience.
- Status: Closed
- Grant amount: From $50,000 to $200,000
- Application opened: 18 March 2022
- Application closed: 4 October 2022, 5:00 pm
The key objectives of the Regional Events Acceleration Fund are to:
- boost the economic and social recovery of regional NSW by attracting new major events to regional areas and supporting existing iconic major events to be bigger and better.
- enhance the visitor experience by improving accessibility and inclusion at major events.
Stream One funds the operational improvements and infrastructure needed to boost attendance and improve visitor experience.
Event infrastructure is defined as temporary or hired equipment to improve the visitor experience. Permanent event infrastructure projects are not supported through this stream.
Applicants must demonstrate how their proposed funded activity is additional to what has been delivered previously for the event, and how it will attract additional visitors, improve visitor experience and increase length of stay for visitors.
Stream One applicants are eligible to apply for up to 25% of their total event cost.
This program is administered by Department of Regional NSW.
Who can apply
To be eligible for funding under the Regional Events Acceleration Fund applicants must be the event owner (i.e. the applicant either owns or has secured the rights to host the event) and be one of the following entities:
- the event organiser or committee
- a local council or joint organisation of councils
- a not-for-profit organisation, including business chambers, industry associations and charities
- a sporting body (i.e. NSW or national associations)
- a Local Aboriginal Land Council.
Who can’t apply
The list below is a guide to indicate the types of events not supported:
- community events such as markets, bazaars, regular sporting meets (i.e. home/away games, local tournaments), club gatherings (RSL, Rotary, chambers of commerce etc.), classes and workshops
- Agricultural/country shows and agricultural field day events that are not regionally significant. Agricultural/country shows may be eligible for funding through the Country Shows Support Package.
- charity fundraising events
- regional racing carnivals (i.e. horse or greyhound racing) and events occurring as part of a regular schedule of racing
- regular theatre programs
- business events and conferences
- events with religious ceremony or celebration as the principal focus (i.e. Easter or Christmas celebrations)
- community public holiday celebrations (such as Australia Day, Anzac Day, or New Year’s Eve celebrations)
- Australian or state/territory government owned and/or operated events
- Regular touring events (e.g. regional theatre programs, touring festivals and other events scheduled on a regular or recurring basis) are ineligible to apply, however individual major events which are part of a unique or one-off tour or series are eligible to apply. A separate application must be submitted for each event that is requesting funding. Each event must meet the program’s eligibility and assessment criteria to be considered for funding. Multiple events submitted as part of a tour within one application are ineligible.
Types of project funded under this grant
The types of events eligible for funding include:
- major sporting and lifestyle events
- major food and beverage events
- major music, art, cultural and regionally significant agricultural field day events
Examples of eligible projects for Stream One funding include:
- the introduction of additional seating areas
- the installation of temporary event fencing
- securing a major artist/performance to increase the event’s appeal
- additional staging for a music festival
- establishing a pop-up camping and caravan site to support more overnight stays, in conjunction with other improvements aimed at attracting additional visitation
- improving temporary parking areas on or near an event.
As part of their application for funding, applicants must demonstrate how the event infrastructure and operational support will help boost event attendance; improve the visitor experience; and lead to increased length of stay.
What you can't apply for
The list below is a guide to indicate the types of expenses not supported:
- support for business as usual activities or general administrative costs
- marketing, advertising, or event promotions that would occur prior to the event being held. This does not include event signage for use at the event
- financing costs, including interest and debt financing
- capital expenditure for the purchase of assets for everyday activities, such as office furniture and equipment, motor vehicles, computers, printers or photocopiers
- purchasing and constructing fixed infrastructure, with the exception of activities funded through Stream Three for the purpose of improving accessibility and inclusivity
- costs involved in the purchase or upgrade/hire of software (including user licences) and information and communication technology (ICT) hardware (unless it directly relates to the event)
- costs such as rent and utilities
- staff training and development costs
- insurance costs (applicants must hold and maintain adequate insurance coverage for any liability arising as a result of their participation in funded activities)
- costs related to obtaining human resources used on the project, including job advertising and recruiting, and contract negotiations
- depreciation of plant and equipment beyond the life of the project
- opportunity costs relating to allocating resources to the agreed grant project.
What your application needs to include
- be financially solvent, have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and be a sole trader; company; incorporated association; or trust entity
- have appropriate insurance cover including at least $20 million public liability insurance
- have the consent of the landowner and development approval (if required)
- have provided a completed datasheet; an event management plan that includes an accessibility and inclusion plan; and evidence of co-contribution.
For profit entities and events that exist to make a profit are eligible to apply and must demonstrate the event will deliver a clear public benefit.
Applicants must demonstrate the event:
- will take place in one of the 93 regional NSW LGAs, Unincorporated Far West Region or Lord Howe Island
- will occur between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023
- has a central location/venue and does not consist of a series of multiple events in a variety of locations.
Applicants must demonstrate the project type is aligned to the following:
- Stream One: operational improvements and/or temporary infrastructure needed to boost major event attendance and improve visitor experience at an existing event.
Eligible applications will be assessed against four program criteria:
One - Economic Impact
Applicants must demonstrate how the event provides economic benefit to regional NSW by demonstrating that the event:
- is regionally significant, as defined by evidence (i.e., through previous event ticket sales) or letters of support confirming the event is able to attract over 5,000 people. Events that will attract fewer than 5,000 people can demonstrate they are regionally significant by providing strong evidence of economic benefit through visitation and by providing letters of support. Applicants must be able to demonstrate how they calculated their estimated visitation figures
- provides an economic benefit to regional NSW through increased visitation, employment and by engaging local suppliers
- is able to stimulate the local economy by attracting more than 30 per cent attendance from visitors, with a visitor defined as being someone who lives 50km or more from where the event is being held
- has the ability to generate interstate, national and/or international exposure and provide marketing benefits for regional NSW, as evidenced through a marketing plan.
Applicants are required to submit a completed data sheet as part of the economic impact criteria. The data sheet will generate a benefit-to-cost ratio for the application, however it is not a requirement of the funding that the application generates a benefit-to-cost ratio greater than 1.0.
Two - Strategic Alignment
Applicants need to demonstrate the project meets the objective of the fund to boost the economic and social recovery of regional NSW by attracting new major events to regional areas and supporting existing iconic regional events to grow.
Applicants must demonstrate:
- how the event will leave a positive legacy within regional NSW and provide benefit to the host community beyond the actual event itself
- how the event is aligned with the Destination Management Plans relevant to the region, the NSW Visitor Economy Strategy 2030, and other regional strategies and policies
- the event has the support of the Destination Network and the local tourism industry. This can be demonstrated through letters of support
- has support from the local council, community groups and/or other relevant stakeholders. This can be demonstrated through letters of support.
Applicants should consider scheduling the event in an off-peak or shoulder period and consider the accommodation capacity of the host location, including if the scheduling will clash with another major event hosted in the same region.
Three - Accessibility and Sustainability
Applicants must demonstrate:
- the event has an accessibility and inclusion plan outlining how the event will be accessible and inclusive for people with disability
- they have a strong commitment to going above and beyond the basic requirements to improve the visitor experience for people with disability
- there is a long-term vision for the event that will benefit regional NSW over multiple years, including a commitment to host the event in regional NSW in future
- the event and/or project is sustainable and can be delivered again in future without the need for further government funding.
Four - Deliverability and Affordability
Applicants must demonstrate the project is deliverable and financially viable by providing:
- a well-developed event management plan with clear strategies for measuring and evaluating visitation and the visitor experience
- a risk management plan for the event that clearly outlines the strategies and processes used to mitigate risks
- evidence of a well-structured and organised event management committee or external events company in place to manage the delivery of the event
- a detailed event budget including competitive quotes for services and equipment relevant to the funding.
Applicants must provide evidence of the required cash co-contributions and are encouraged to maximise the financial co-contributions towards their project.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to ensure any prizemoney for competitors is equitable for male and female competitors.
The Regional Events Acceleration Fund Assessment Panel will review applications on an ongoing basis until 4 October 2022 . The assessment process will take approximately ten weeks from the time an application is received, and event owners will be notified as soon as is practical following the assessment outcome.
During the assessment process the Department of Regional NSW may request additional information from the applicant. Advice may also be sought from other NSW Government agencies or other third parties (such as probity advisors) to assist with the assessment of projects.
The Assessment Panel may also recommend part-funding of events where there is insufficient funding available for the whole event, where only a component of the project is considered suitable for funding or a lesser funding amount to what is requested is deemed more appropriate.
Funding recommendations made by the Assessment Panel will be considered and approved by the Department of Regional NSW.
Other factors may be taken into consideration when determining final projects to receive funding, including geographical distribution of events across the eligible LGAs in regional NSW, total amount of funding available, the importance of the event to the local economy, suitability of events for other government funding opportunities, and alignment with existing NSW Government policies and strategies.
The Assessment Panel can recommend projects are approved for funding without the requirement for a co-contribution at its sole discretion.
The Department of Regional NSW, at its sole discretion, can take other factors into account that may make an application ineligible for funding, including issues that could cause reputational or other risk to the NSW Government.
Start the application
After the application is submitted
Successful applicants will be required to enter into and comply with a funding agreement with the NSW Government. The funding agreement details a range of deliverables required by the NSW Government.
These include, but are not limited to, a requirement for the event owner to:
- include the NSW Government logo on all marketing collateral and advertising associated with the event
- give the NSW Government the right to approve all marketing and advertising material containing its logo at the artwork stage (i.e. prior to printing, broadcast or publication)
- create, update and maintain an event listing on visitnsw.com
- consult regularly with the local council, Destination NSW and the relevant Destination Network to maximise marketing and event development efforts
- offer the NSW Government signage opportunities at the event
- submit a detailed post-event report and financial statement outlining how the initiatives funded were delivered and highlighting key measures of success, such as the number of overnight visitors generated by the event. This report must be submitted within two (2) months of the event’s completion.
The NSW Government makes no binding funding commitment to an applicant unless and until both parties sign a funding agreement.
The funding agreement will require the successful applicant to provide a copy of all relevant insurances and other supporting documentation relevant to the project or as requested by the Department of Regional NSW.
Grants will be paid via milestone payments set out in the funding agreement. Timing and requirements will vary depending on the scope and timelines of the project.
Successful applicants will be required to submit project progress reports to the NSW Government as outlined in the funding agreement. Examples of measures to be included in the report are completion of project activities and number of full-time equivalent employees hired as a result of the project.
Applicants may be requested to keep the grant confidential for a period of time if an announcement is likely to be made by the NSW Government.
Applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of each application and unsuccessful applicants will be offered a feedback session.
Support and contact
Find Frequently Asked Questions and other resources to assist with funding applications.
Staff from the Department of Regional NSW are also available to provide information and support for Regional Event Acceleration Fund applicants.
Research and documents including information on how to obtain Destination Management Plans for regional NSW can be found at Destination NSW.
Applicants are encouraged to meet with their local council and Destination Network prior to submitting an application.