$150,000 in funding up for grabs to activate suburban business precincts

26 Apr 2023

Creative projects designed to increase visitation and boost economic activity in Hamilton, New Lambton and Wallsend business precincts will share in $150,000 as part of City of Newcastle’s annual Special Business Rate (SBR) program.

Initiatives ranging from the recent Newcastle Fringe Festival, which saw a smorgasbord of free artistic and cultural performances throughout Hamilton, through to the installation of shopfront “smart” gardens and sky-high murals, have recently been funded through the SBR program.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the next round of SBR funding will help unlock a whole new range of creative projects that drive visitation and economic activity into the city's suburban business precincts.

"The Special Business Rates program has seen many amazing projects come to life, including the Big Picture Festival and quarterly food, art and wine trails throughout the city, so we're looking forward to seeing what comes through next for our suburban precincts,” Cr Nelmes said.

Councillor Carol Duncan said local businesses directly benefit from SBR funded projects which enhance the appeal of each suburban business precinct.

"Funding available through the Special Business Rates program directly benefits local businesses through projects that increase visitation and beautify the precinct for residents and visitors alike, making them even more attractive places to eat, drink and shop," Cr Duncan said.

"Business owners play a key role in providing input into the projects that best activate their own precincts which is vital to creating thriving business communities and increasing visitation to suburban areas like New Lambton, Wallsend and Hamilton."

Proposals for this round will be considered based on their creativity, impact and level of innovation, with up to $50,000 available in each suburban precinct.

Local business owner and Hamilton Business Improvement Association (BIA) Chair Reece Hignall welcomed the next round of SBR projects.

“The advocacy of our BIAs in engaging with business owners to activate their precincts is vital in creating thriving business communities to help drive increased visitation into suburban shopping precincts” Mr Hignall said.

"We're witnessing the benefits of the BIA model across Newcastle, including Hamilton, where we’ve welcomed more than 50 new businesses since COVID began.”

Applications for the New Lambton, Wallsend and Hamilton funding round close at 4pm on 19 May 2023.

More information about the Special Business Rates program and funding opportunities can be found at newcastle.nsw.gov.au/special-business-rates.