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Regional Events Acceleration Fund

To support the social and economic recovery of our regions, the NSW Government’s $20 million Regional Events Acceleration Fund helps organisations to attract new major international and domestic events to regional areas and supports existing regional events to grow even bigger and better.

Canowindra Balloon Challenge, Canowindra.

 

Regional NSW is blessed with a host of world-class events attracting tens of thousands of metropolitan, interstate and international visitors to regional communities each year. 

Visitors not only spend money at the events themselves, but at local cafes and restaurants, service stations, bars, tourist attractions and accommodation; helping to boost our regional economies and create jobs in regional areas.

The cancellation of major events due to COVID-19 has impacted local event venues, workers and communities who rely on the influx of visitors and tourist dollars.

To support the social and economic recovery of our regions, the NSW Government’s $20 million Regional Events Acceleration Fund helps organisations to:

  • attract new major international and domestic events to regional areas
  • make existing regional events even bigger and better.

Funding will help meet the costs of attracting or retaining major events, such as premier sporting fixtures or competitions, and helps fund the operational and infrastructure improvements existing events need to increase visitation and length of stay.

The types of events eligible for funding include:

  • major sporting and lifestyle events
  • major food and beverage events
  • major music, art and culture festivals.

The funding is for events hosted in regional NSW between March 2021 and June 2022.

The Regional Events Acceleration Fund offers two streams – Major Event Operations and Infrastructure grants and Major Event Attraction and Enhancement grants

Stream One: Major Event Operations and Infrastructure

Grants between $50,000 and $200,000 are available to support temporary event infrastructure and operational improvements at existing regional events to help increase visitation.

Examples of the types of event infrastructure and operational improvements that are eligible for funding include:

  • securing a major artist/performance to increase an event’s appeal
  • additional temporary seating areas to increase capacity
  • additional staging for a music festival
  • establishing a pop-up camping and caravan site to support more overnight stays.

Stream Two: Major Event Attraction and Enhancement 

Grants for a minimum of $100,000 for the attraction, delivery and retention of major international and domestic events to regional areas across regional NSW, with a focus on major sporting events providing national or international exposure.

Program information

Detailed information about eligibility, funding categories, how to apply for funding can be found in the Guidelines below:

 

Regional Events Acceleration Fund Program Guidelines (PDF, 1.86 MB)

 

The Department of Regional NSW has (or will) publish a range of resources and tools on this webpage, including a recorded webinar, application datasheet and landowner consent form, to support potential applicants with their submissions.

Regional Events Acceleration Fund Webinars

To assist eligible organisations seeking funding through the Regional Events Acceleration Fund, the department will host an online information session on Wednesday, 3 March 2021 to provide a high-level overview of the program, guidance on the eligibility requirements and the application process and to answer questions from potential applicants.  

Watch the Regional Events Acceleration Fund online information session.

Watch this Regional Events Acceleration Fund instructional webinar to find out how to complete the Application Datasheet.

Make an Application

Eligible organisations can complete and submit applications using the online portal found at https://rgf.smartygrants.com.au/REAF

Applicants are encouraged to consult with their local council and their regional representative from Destination NSW’s Destination Network prior to applying. 

Contact your regional Destination Network 

Applications will close at 5pm (AEDT) on Friday, 17 December 2021, or when funding is fully committed.

Key dates

Applications open: Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Applications close:  5pm (AEDT) on Friday, 17 December 2021, or when funding is fully committed

Assessment and approval process: approximately six weeks from submission

Frequently Asked Questions

The NSW Government’s Regional Events Acceleration Fund will attract and enhance major events hosted across regional NSW. The Regional Events Acceleration Fund focusses on attracting and supporting events such as major sporting fixtures that increase visitation, expenditure and length of visitor stay across regional NSW.

$20 million has been allocated to the Regional Events Acceleration Fund from the NSW Government’s $2 billion Regional Growth Fund.

The types of events eligible for funding include:

  • major sporting and lifestyle events
  • major food and beverage events
  • major music, art and culture festivals.

All applicants must be the event owner (i.e. own, or have secured the rights to the event and have the relevant approvals for the event), must be financially solvent and be a sole trader, company, incorporated association, or trust entity with an Australian Business Number (ABN).

There are two streams of funding available through the Regional Events Acceleration Fund:

  1. Stream One: Major Event Operations and Infrastructure. Applicants can apply for a minimum $50,000 up to a maximum of $200,000.
  2. Stream Two: Major Event Attraction and Enhancement. Applicants can apply for a minimum of $100,000. There is no cap on the maximum level of funding. The amount applied for should be considered in the context of value-for-money and the event’s capacity to deliver strong economic benefit to the host region.

The program will open for funding applications from Tuesday, 23 February 2021 and will close at 5pm on Friday, 17 December 2021 or when the funding is fully committed. The funding will support events hosted between March 2021 and June 2022.

Yes, a range of resources and tools will be made available on this webpage to support potential applicants with their submissions, including a recorded webinar, application datasheet and landowner consent form. 

Staff from the Department of Regional NSW will also available to support applicants with their applications. Please contact regionalnsw.business@regional.nsw.gov.au or call 1300 679 673 to access this support.

The Regional Events Acceleration Fund is not designed to support consumer facing marketing and promotional activities. Event owners are encouraged to apply for funding through Destination NSW’s Regional Events Fund for this type of activity.

Yes, event owners can apply for funding through Stream Two to ensure the major event can go ahead and be run successfully in line with COVID-19 regulations and any limits on public gatherings. 

Yes. All events will be required to be COVID-19 safe and funding support can still be provided in line with the Public Health Order requirements in place at the time the event is hosted.

Yes, your event is eligible if you can demonstrate within your application at least 80 per cent of the event’s activity will be physically based in NSW, or at least 50 per cent of the economic benefit generated will occur in NSW.

Yes, the program is complementary to other NSW Government event funding. Event owners are encouraged to apply for support through both funding programs. However, applicants need to show how the proposed Regional Events Acceleration Fund funded activities are distinct from the other NSW Government funded activities in their applications.

No. While applicants are strongly encouraged to make a co-contribution towards the event, it is not an eligibility requirement.

Yes. Event organisers are encouraged to include letters of support from local stakeholders with their applications.

Yes, events with fewer than 5,000 attendees are eligible to apply if the event owner can provide evidence that the event is regionally significant and will generate economic benefit for regional NSW. Evidence to support regional significance could include daytrip and overnight visitation and/or national or international exposure for regional NSW through broadcast or other media coverage of the event. Applications should include letters of support from stakeholders such as the local council and the relevant Destination Network.

Yes, applicants are required to submit an event management plan with their application. This plan should clearly outline the goals and objectives of your event, a delivery program and include clear strategies for measuring and evaluating visitation.

Applicants to Stream One seeking to purchase temporary event infrastructure must demonstrate that purchasing the equipment for future use is more economical than hiring it for a temporary period, noting that the benefits must be specific to the event that is the focus of the application.

No, only one application can be submitted per event.

Yes, events must be held between 1 March 2021 and 30 June 2022. If your application is successful and the event is held prior to the announcement of funding, expenditure on your project will be recognised from the date the application is submitted for the purposes of the grant acquittal. Any expenditure you incur prior to being notified of the outcome of your application is at your own risk. If your application is unsuccessful, the Department will have no obligation to fund these costs.

Yes, all applications require supporting evidence in the form of quotes and detailed cost estimates for the event activity that you are seeking funding for.

Yes. Stream One applicants can seek funding for additional event management staff required to deliver their event activity. The additional event management costs must be directly associated with the delivery of the funded event.

Stream Two supports the delivery of new major events in Regional NSW. The applicant must demonstrate the event is regionally significant and can 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.

Yes, event owners can apply to Stream One for costs associated with hire temporary fencing and seating to ensure their major event can accommodate the attendees in line with the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Regular touring events (e.g. regional theatre programs 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 and must submit a separate application 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.

Getting support

The Department has a network of Business Development Managers, located across regional NSW, who are available to answer questions and provide advice about completing and lodging applications and supporting documents.

To access this support please email regionalnsw.business@regional.nsw.gov.au or call 1300 679 673 to provide your contact details. Please review the online resources and Frequently Asked Questions before getting in touch.

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