$1 million in funding open to activate city

31 Jan 2020

More than $1 million in funding will be made available to attract people to the City’s business precincts this year under City of Newcastle’s Special Business Rate Expenditure policy.

Businesses, not-for-profits and community groups in Hamilton, New Lambton and Wallsend are invited to apply for funding for events and activations under the first round, which is open until Sunday 8 March.

Funds will range from $4,000 to $15,000 for successful applicants in these precincts and be followed by two additional rounds later in the year, with the second focused on the inner city and the third open to Wallsend, New Lambton, Hamilton and city centre.

“The City of Newcastle welcomes all creative and innovative ideas to activate local business precincts,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“We know that competition among applicants results in the best possible outcomes for our businesses and commercial centres. Last year, the Special Business Rate program dispersed more than $820,000 for a bumper schedule of 15 events, activations and promotional initiatives.

“We’ve already seen a three-on-three street basketball competition bring hundreds of kids, open and veteran players to Wheeler Place, a City Sparkles activation for retailers held across the CBD in the lead up to Christmas, and Hamilton created some fantastic street art.

“This year, I’m delighted that more than $1 million will be available.”

3x3 Street Hustle in Wheeler Place

The City Sparkles event drew hundreds of evening shoppers into the CBD to enjoy the wares and offerings of a range of creative businesses in December.

“It was wonderful to have over 25 businesses play together as part of the newly formed Makers and Traders group,” Makers and Traders spokesperson Anne Kempton said.

“The funding helped us to market the event and provide musical entertainment.

“The vast majority of these businesses do not open in the evenings so it was a major change and a huge success.”

Information sessions on the latest funding round will be held in each of the local business precincts at Duke of Wellington Hotel, New Lambton, on Tuesday 11 February at 12 noon; at the Olive Branch Café in Hamilton on Wednesday 12 February at 7.30am; and Wallsend Library on Thursday 13 February at 6pm.

All sessions will be open to representatives from all the precincts. Register your interest online at the City’s website:

Special Business Rates are collected for the promotion, beautification and development of the SBR precincts of City Centre/Darby Street, Hamilton, Mayfield, New Lambton and Wallsend.