City invests $500,000 in supporting COVID-19 hit local industries

30 Jul 2020

Newcastle’s tourism, entertainment and arts community will benefit from more than $500,000 from the City of Newcastle to city-shaping projects targeting those industries hardest hit by COVID-19.

Developed in collaboration with the City Taskforce, comprising 17 leaders from business, community and educational sectors, the response program will foster community connections and industry resilience.

Collaborative partnerships from the Hunter Writers Centre, Field Frequency, University of Newcastle, Olive Tree Markets and the Business Centre have received funding for unique projects that will boost the local economy.

City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the program encouraged collaboration between industry groups, businesses and community organisations to provide long-term, strategic benefits for the City.

“Newcastle’s visitor economy has been one of the hardest-hit sectors in our community, along with hospitality, arts and recreation,” the Lord Mayor said.

“These local initiatives are unique, innovative and leverage our City’s strengths to provide support to people hardest hit by COVID-19.

“From harnessing the vibrancy of Newcastle’s live music scene and attracting visitors to our City, to developing stronger connections in our creative community, the funded projects will provide much needed support.

“The five projects will be delivered within 6-months and will leave a positive legacy for our city.”

Newcastle Business Chamber CEO and City Taskforce Member Bob Hawes said the industry targeted funding approach has resulted in projects that present new opportunities for businesses, locals and visitors to support Newcastle’s economy.

“Now more than ever, people are looking to explore their own backyard as they recognise the need to support local businesses,” Mr Hawes said.

“If we want to be able to return to the lifestyle we enjoyed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to support our local businesses now to ensure that they can survive this unprecedented economic and social disruption.”

“The successful grant recipients showcase what the region can achieve when we harness the collective knowledge of our corporate, not-for-profit and government sectors.”

Industry Response Program Grant Recipients

University of Newcastle - Hometown Holiday

The Hometown Holiday project will incentivise Newcastle residents to have a ‘hometown holiday’ inclusive of overnight accommodation and curated experience itineraries. Locals will be encouraged to visit Newcastle as tourists and engage with the City as a tourism destination, providing economic benefits to local tourism businesses.

Field Frequency - Smart City LIVE Music TV Show

Field Frequency will produce a live-stream music series, using live-stream broadcast collaborations to maximise the recovery of the local arts and entertainment industry. The show will showcase a diverse range of established musicians and new talent growing the City’s identity as a collaborative and inclusive community.

The Business Centre - Small Business Recovery Centre

The COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Project will provide much needed support and advice to local businesses, curated and coordinated by the Business Centre and based at 265 King Street. The Centre will bring together government and non-government agencies, banks and financial services providers, mental health and well-being providers, to offer support and provide information, and services, that lead to sustainability and job creation, to small businesses during and after COVID-19.

Hunter Writers Centre Inc - Multi-arts activation

Hunter Writers Centre will lead a multi-arts activation benefiting local arts, cultural, and tourism businesses. The project will include exhibition studio spaces for Indigenous and non-Indigenous writers, musicians, visual and digital artists and performers to develop work for exhibitions of cultural and maritime history and stories of local sites.

The Olive Tree Market - The Olive Tree Virtual Online Platform

The Virtual Olive Tree Market Platform will develop new income generating opportunities, capacity building and educational workshops for local creatives. Existing customers, supporters, and new online audiences will be targeted to buy local online, to re-connect and forge ongoing connections with creatives.