Business Case and Strategy Development Fund FAQs

Find answers below to common questions regarding the Regional NSW - Business Case and Strategy Development Fund.

What is the Regional NSW - Business Case and Strategy Development Fund?

A new $24 million program to support local councils, joint organisations of councils, not-for-profit, industry and Aboriginal community groups to develop business cases or strategies for projects that will deliver significant economic or social benefits to regional communities. The program aims to improve the preparedness of local and regional organisations to plan for and deliver projects and regional development initiatives, and build a pipeline of investment-ready regionally significant economic and priority community projects in regional NSW.

Funding is available in two streams:

  • Stream 1: Regional Significance – up to $19 million available funding.
  • Stream 2: Aboriginal Prosperity – up to $5 million available funding.
What is the definition of regionally significant?

Regional significance is defined as improving outcomes at a regional scale (i.e. at a minimum, in two or more local government areas).

Can businesses apply?

Under Stream 1 eligible applicants include infrastructure providers such as telecommunication, energy, or water companies.

Under both streams, public/private partnerships are eligible where the application lead is an eligible entity and the subject of the business case or strategy has a clear public benefit, or a clear benefit for multiple users, organisations or businesses.

Further information about eligible applicants is available in the Program Guidelines (PDF 2.64MB).

Is there a maximum or minimum grant amount?

No. Grants will be awarded based on the quote provided by a suitably qualified service provider to produce the business case or strategy, which should align with the size and significance of the project. A contingency up to 25 percent of the quoted cost can also be included in the application cost to cover project management, administration, and contingency costs.

Is a co-contribution required?

No, a co-contribution is not required.

How will the applications be assessed?

The Department of Regional NSW will review applications against program eligibility and facilitate assessment of applications against the assessment criteria.

An Assessment Panel will review project eligibility and assessment outcomes and shortlist applications that are deemed suitable/not suitable for funding. Factors considered include the total amount of funding available, along with the geographical distribution of applications across the eligible local government areas, Functional Economic Regions and Local Aboriginal Land Council regions in regional NSW. 

An independent probity advisor will be present during Assessment Panel meetings. Funding recommendations made by the Assessment Panel will be considered and approved by the Department of Regional NSW.

Can an organisation apply for more than one project?

Yes. Eligible organisations may submit more than one application, but it is recommended that applicants focus on their highest-priority project.

Will infrastructure projects be funded once the business case is complete?

An award of funding under the Regional NSW – Business Case and Strategy Development Fund does not represent formal NSW Government support for or an intent or commitment to fund any future stage of the subject project or activity.

Can we engage a consultant who is not on the provided list?

Yes. The Service Provider Resource List is a non-mandatory resource organisations may find useful. It is not a requirement of the grant that a consultant be selected from the list provided.

Do Stream 2 projects need to be of regional significance?

No. Regional significance applies only to Stream 1 applications. Stream 2 projects must have a positive impact on economic and/or social outcomes for Aboriginal people in regional NSW or address a clearly stated and demonstrated community issue or need that will deliver benefits for multiple users. The full list of eligibility requirements under each funding stream is in the Program Guidelines (PDF 2.64MB).

Who can apply?

Stream 1 – Eligible applicants include:

  • local councils
  • Joint Organisations of Councils
  • infrastructure providers such as telecommunication, energy, or water companies
  • peak bodies such as business, industry, and community associations
  • cooperatives
  • tertiary educational institutions
  • incorporated not-for-profit organisations

Organisations not listed are eligible if they are an incorporated entity and hold an Australian Business Number (ABN), Australian Company Number (ACN) or are registered with NSW Fair Trading under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 or another Act. Unincorporated organisations are ineligible to apply. Interested organisations should also refer to the list of ineligible applicants (below).

Stream 2 - Eligible organisations are not-for-profit, incorporated Aboriginal community organisations (i.e. initiated by, controlled and operated by Aboriginal people and/or governed by a board or committee of Aboriginal people). 

Eligible applicants include:

  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Corporations registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth)
  • companies incorporated in Australia under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
  • Local Aboriginal Land Councils under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW)
  • Incorporated Associations (incorporated under state legislation, and commonly have ‘Association’ or ‘Incorporated’ or ‘Inc’ in their legal name)
  • Incorporated Cooperatives (incorporated under state legislation, and commonly have ’Cooperative’ in their legal name)

Under both streams ineligible applicants include:

  • businesses, except where specifically noted as eligible or as part of a public/private partnership
  • unincorporated organisations
  • trusts
  • partnerships
  • pre-school, primary and secondary schools
  • individuals and sole traders
  • Australian or NSW Government agencies. State Owned Corporations or statutory authorities.

Further information about eligible applicants is available in the Program Guidelines (PDF 2.64MB).

Do I need to supply more than one service provider quote within the application?

No, only one quote is required under the Regional NSW – Business Case and Strategy Development Fund.

Is the business case template required to be completed with the application?

No, the business case template is only required to be completed if your application is successful. The template can be provided to a consultant to assist with the quotation process, if necessary.

Can my application include a cross-border LGA?

Applications relating to projects and activities located in or centred on a cross-border region of NSW can be considered, where there is a clear benefit for regional NSW.

The application form I downloaded has questions which do not apply to my project or activity, do I need to complete all questions?

The application form contains conditional questions. When completing the form in SmartyGrants, information you provide about your project or activity will turn off questions which are not relevant and do not need to be completed.

The Regional NSW - Business Case and Strategy Development Fund

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