Million-dollar boost for COVID-affected sectors

23 Jul 2020

Events, place activations and initiatives to re-energise Newcastle and boost the local economy are now eligible for a record $1.3 million in funding from the City. 

Applications open today for a pool of $800,000 under the Special Business Program, which is on offer for the best projects that will promote, beautify and develop the City Centre and Darby Street. 

Applications are also open across three additional funding programs to help activate public spaces, enhance community wellbeing and strengthen the city's reputation as a destination for tourism, business and events. 

“Funding across a range of sponsorship and grant programs will support industries hardest hit by COVID-19 and ensure that as restrictions are lifted our city is ready,” Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said. 

“We are providing financial support for all levels of the community, from localised suburban landscape improvements to major events that attract thousands of visitors to our region and inject millions into our economy. 

“These funding programs are more important than ever in the wake of COVID-19 and its unprecedented economic and social impacts on our community. 

“City of Newcastle has made a deliberate decision to open these funding opportunities at the same time, allowing a more streamlined submission process and providing applicants the best opportunity to receive support from one of the programs. 

“While large events may not be possible right now, opening applications for funding allows organisers to get on with planning so that we can respond quickly when it’s safe to do so. 

“In the meantime, there are many initiatives that may stimulate the City Centre and Darby Street business, support our local arts and cultural sector, and promote Newcastle as a destination that we can get on with funding today. 

“I look forward to seeing innovative proposals that will enhance community wellbeing, improve the city's identity and make Newcastle an even better place in which to live, work, play and invest.” 

City of Newcastle’s $280,000 Event Sponsorship Program is open for events that promote Newcastle, provide tourism-related economic benefits, and capitalise on the city's assets. Applications can be made across five categories depending on the size and significance of the event. 

The Boost Arts and Cultural Grants program will provide a total of $150,000 to Newcastle’s cultural community by stimulating professional artist engagement and the presentation of arts and cultural works. 

A further $60,000 is on offer through the Boost your Place Challenge, with the grants designed to encourage younger people to stay connected, create and innovate through placemaking projects. 

Applications for all funding areas are open until Wednesday 12 August and can be submitted online. Visit for further details and information on the individual funding programs.