Economic Development Sponsorship Program

The Economic Development Sponsorship Program (EDSP) has been developed to support local economic development initiatives designed to help achieve Council priorities and generate local economic development benefit in one or more of the following areas:
  1. Supporting business growth and employment
  2. Encouragement of innovation and creativity
  3. Developing the visitor economy of Newcastle.
Applications for the 2017-2018 Economic Development Sponsorship Program will close at 5pm on Monday 1 May 2017.

Applicants must be a registered organisation with an ABN (or ACN) or a Not for Profit organisation.  Council will not fund individuals or government agencies. A complete list of eligibility criteria is included in both the application form and policy documents (attached).

Applications that fully satisfy the 'Eligibility Criteria' will then be assessed against the published assessment criteria which are also included in the application form.

The following key items may also be included in the assessment of applications:
  • All applications need to acknowledge Council’s support as part of the project.  Applicants are encouraged to submit a marketing or communications plan with their application (no more than 3 pages).
  • Applicant’s experience and track record (Note: Council may assess all information available to Council about the applicant when making this assessment including data from sponsorships)
  • Adequacy of the overall budget proposed for the project as part of the required application process.
Grants of up to $20,000 are on offer.

Funds will be available from 1 July 2017 and the project or activity must be completed by 30 June 2018.

The application form is attached and can be completed and submitted on line.

For further information, please email your questions to
Funds are distributed in accordance with the Economic Development Sponsorship Program policy.  It is important you read the policy before completing your application.

Summary of 2016-2017 EDSP projects

TINA Audience Engagement Strategy ($12,000)
The TINA Audience Engagement Strategy will map and strengthen audience engagement with This is Not Art (TiNA), a national annual festival of emerging and experimental arts.

As the festival organiser Octapod will develop the strategy to conduct an economic impact study of the event using Destinations NSW methodology which will strengthen the recognition of the festival by DNSW.

The project will design and implement a PR strategy to encourage festival audiences to contribute financially to the festival, integrated with a marketing campaign that ensures a high national profile for the event, with a focus on enhancing audience experience (engagement).
Real Film Festival 2016 ($10,000)
The Real Film Festival (RFF) is a three-day festival designed to foster and showcase the art of storytelling real events through film. This year comprises 12 industry development workshops, two panel discussions, Q&A sessions, three short film competitions and the screening of independent short, documentary and feature films together with an outdoor cinema event.

The project will be to implement the PR strategy to ensure the RFF connects with local business and provides increased audience participation and festival attendance through increased ticket sales.

We will deliver an extensive national marketing campaign, with a focus on increasing the festival contribution to the visitor economy of Newcastle.
Greater Hunter Makers Festival ($15,000)
The Greater Hunter Makers Festival is a two day festival showcasing the region's manufacturing capability and people in a collaborative space while supporting school based STEM programs. The festival has a target audience ranging from local manufacturers, educators and students to international business communities that see opportunity in the City of Newcastle.

Day 1 of the festival was targeted towards the business community while Day 2 was a public festival open to all. 
The Lock-Up ($10,000)  
The continued support of The Lock-Up (TLU) strengthens its capacity to deliver high quality events and public programs that complement the artistic program and increase audience participation and engagement.

The project will enable the digital capture and reporting of visitor demographics to TLU and the East End of Newcastle, creating an information resource to TLU, NCC, partner organisations and future funding bodies.  Audience demographics, including visitor numbers, age, post code, country of residence, visitation patterns (return visitor vs. first timer) will be recorded to enhance funding opportunities and to identify specific peaks or troughs in visitation from target market segments.
Deeper Voice of Textiles ($10,000)         
Deeper Voice of Textiles will bring together local business and fibre artists to provide an opportunity for professional development by presenting a 3 day workshop and festival. Through a series of hands on workshops participants will create sculptural artworks using the tools and skills associated with their specific trades.
Following an exhibition the sculptures will be displayed in the participating local business that created them, resulting in an engaging artist trail of ‘man made art’.
2016 NEWi Awards for Digital Creativity ($5,000)
The sponsorship recognised NCC in two categories on the night during the NEWi Awards for Digital Creativity which is the largest regional awards celebrating digital innovators. It is open to any organisation involved in designing, building, managing, or promoting a digital asset in Australia or internationally.
Beaumont St Carnivale ($5,000)
The Beaumont St Carnivale is an annual celebration of the rich culture of Hamilton. Showcasing this spirit through entertainment, interactivity, food and music has easily made it one of the region’s most popular free community events.

Over the years the event has offered an unforgettable experience to locals and visitors alike. A colourful display of different cultures, international foods, drinks and sounds, diverse arts and a mixture of song, dance and performance by artists from all over the world has welcomed over 20,000 people to the festival, year on year.
The Tip Jar ($11,000)
The Newcastle Tip Jar represents a renaissance of live music in Newcastle.
The purpose is to conduct a pilot program, as a proof-of-concept initiative, aimed at reactivating the live music scene in Newcastle and developing a sustainable, collaborative program over time.

The project will focus on the night time economy and the overall visitor experience through the creation of live music and allowing access to this music through the development of an on-line music economy.
Facon Magazine & Creative Agency ($10,000)
To produce a local based, high end hard copy fashion magazine which will enable the development of the creative agency that will than offer a pathway in the fashion industry and employment opportunities for locals. This will also provide a launch for an annual Newcastle fashion expo at a national level.
RoboCup Junior 2016 ($2,500)
Robocop's Junior is an initiative that sponsors local, regional and international robotic events for young students. It is designed to introduce RoboCup to primary and secondary school children.

Students are invited to use LEGO mind storm robots to compete in a series of challenges that require dedication, teamwork and logic to overcome complex engineering problems. Students have the option to compete in three unique disciplines being dance, rescue and soccer.