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Growing Local Economies

Published 17th August, 2017

This fund will invest in the crucial projects needed to support job creation and economic growth in regional NSW. 

As part of the NSW Government’s $1.3 billion Regional Growth Fund, funding will be made available through the Growing Local Economies fund over four years to turbocharge new regional economic opportunities and enliven local economies

Growing Local Economies is designed to unlock growth in regional NSW by delivering the infrastructure that supports projects of economic significance. 

Updated Program Guidelines

Updated program guidelines for the Growing Local Economies Fund apply from Monday 20 August 2018. The main change in the new Guidelines is that projects will now require a minimum financial co-contribution of 25 per cent of the total grant amount. An exemption may be granted where a project is located in a disadvantaged area of NSW.

More than 100 projects have been submitted for consideration so far. All projects submitted before 20 August 2018 will be assessed under the previous Guidelines. All project submissions received on or after 20 August will be assessed under the updated Guidelines.


Applications for Growing Local Economies funding must show how projects will improve economic outcomes for communities. Wherever possible, projects should support local procurement, job creation and skills development.

Growing Local Economies will make funding available for projects in regional NSW outside Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.

A list of eligible applicants are outlined in the Program Guidelines.

Purpose of funds

The Growing Local Economies fund is open to projects that:

• are for the use and benefit of multiple organisations or businesses

• enable or bring forward investment or productivity improvements for new or existing industry

• deliver a net economic benefit to residents and business located in NSW

• would likely not proceed without NSW Government funding.



Eligible projects will be assessed against four program criteria.

Criteria 1: Strategic assessment
Projects must align with the relevant Regional Economic Development Strategy. Applicants must demonstrate how a project meets the objectives and eligibility criteria of the program.

Criteria 2: Economic assessment
Applicants must demonstrate how projects will deliver jobs and economic growth to the regional economy. They must also submit a detailed application, including a financial business case. Projects will need to achieve a Benefit to Cost Ratio greater than 1.0. The NSW Government will undertake cost benefit analysis of all Growing Local Economies projects.

Criteria 3: Affordability
Under the updated guidelines, projects require a co-contribution of 25 per cent of the total grant amount. An exemption may be granted where a project is located in a disadvantaged area of NSW.

Applicants must demonstrate that proposed projects are financially viable in the future, taking into account net lifecycle cost impacts and allowing for ongoing operating and maintenance costs.

Project applications must include construction, operating and maintenance costs, noting that regular operating and maintenance costs will not be covered by this fund.

The construction cost estimates should be supported by estimations or quotes, and include all margins and overheads, project and construction management costs, and an appropriate amount of contingency for the project stage and risks.

Criteria 4: Deliverability
Applicants must demonstrate that they have the capacity and capability to deliver the project through robust strategies for procurement, project management and risk management.

Applicants should provide evidence of support from local stakeholders.

Where relevant, past performance on delivery of other NSW Government funded projects will be considered.

How to apply

Applying for the Growing Local Economies fund is a two-step process.

Applicants are required to contact the Department of Premier and Cabinet Regional team to check if their proposed project is eligible.

Once the eligibility has been assessed, successful applicants will progress to the next stage, where they will have to submit a business case. The NSW Government can provide guidance on business case development.

Questions about the program can be emailed to [email protected], including queries about eligibility and the application process.



Published 17th August, 2017
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