Reconnecting Regional NSW – Community Events Program

To support the economic and social recovery of our regions, the $25 million Reconnecting Regional NSW - Community Events Program will fund eligible regional NSW councils to deliver local community events.

Crowds enjoying the Flavours of Mudgee Festival

The NSW Government is focused on supporting communities to recover from recent challenging times through the $200 million Regional Recovery Package, which will create new jobs and support community events, shows and festivals to boost tourism.

$25 million from the Package has been allocated to the Reconnecting Regional NSW - Community Events Program. The program will support regional communities to reconnect by helping eligible applicants deliver exciting community events. The program will also facilitate economic recovery by supporting local businesses in the events, hospitality and accommodation sectors.

Program objective

The Reconnecting Regional NSW – Community Events Program will promote the social and economic recovery of regional communities, by renewing social connections and providing a revenue-boost to local businesses, following the extended COVID-19 restrictions across regional NSW and impacts of border closures.

Key Dates

  • Applications open: Thursday 7 April 2022
  • Applications close: 5pm AEST on Friday 24 June 2022

Eligibility

Eligible applicants must be local councils located in regional NSW, excluding Metropolitan Sydney Newcastle, Wollongong, Blue Mountains and Wollondilly. Lord Howe Island Board and Regional Development Australia Far West are eligible applicants. See the list of eligible applicants in Appendix A of the Program Guidelines. 

Eligible applicants are encouraged to work with local community and business groups to identify priority events. Eligible applicants are encouraged to consider project partnerships, however, only eligible applicants can submit applications. See the Program Guidelines for all eligibility criteria.

Eligible projects

Grants will be provided to eligible applicants to deliver eligible community events or festivals that will provide immediate positive economic and social benefits to regional NSW.

Events must:

  • be open to all members of the public
  • free to attend or a very small fee to cover any extra costs
  • have a primary purpose of reconnecting communities and improving social cohesion of the local community
  • be held before 31 March 2023.
Examples of eligible events

Each applicant can apply for any number of events within the one application. Activities eligible for funding through the Reconnecting Regional NSW – Community Events Program include existing or new:

  • community markets and bazaars
  • festivals and fairs
  • sporting events
  • food and leisure events
  • recovery events
  • community classes and workshops
  • agricultural field days (run by community organisations)
  • regional racing carnivals (e.g. horse or greyhound racing) run by community organisations
  • touring events and theatre programs
  • community public holiday celebrations (e.g. Australia Day or Anzac Day).

For existing events, applicants are encouraged to use this funding to make the events larger or more accessible.

Assessment criteria

All applications will be required to meet the eligibility criteria and the following assessment criteria to receive funding.

  • Positive social outcomes in local community - Applications must demonstrate that the proposed activities will rebuild local community cohesion and deliver positive social outcomes.
  • Local business support - Applications must demonstrate how the proposed activities will support local business. Applicants are strongly encouraged to engage external event coordinators and local businesses to run and deliver the events.

Program resources

The following resources are available to support eligible applicants with their submissions:

For a toolkit and practical information and resources on hosting public outdoor events, please view these tools and resources.

What your application needs to include

  • Basic organisation details including $20 million Public Liability Insurance certificate for the event organiser
  • Proposed event(s) and project costs
  • Response to assessment criteria
  • An invoice for 80 percent of the amount outlined in the funding allocation letter excluding GST (for council applicants).

Start the application

Eligible applicants can apply through the SmartyGrants portal

After the application is submitted

Applications will be reviewed by Department staff to ensure:

  • the applicant is an eligible entity
  • all required documentation is complete and submitted
  • proposed projects align with the fund objectives and assessment criteria.

If successful eligible applicants will enter into a simple legally binding funding agreement.

Support and contact

For more information please contact the Department of Regional NSW.

Ph:  1300 679 673
Email: regionalnsw.business@regional.nsw.gov.au 
 

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