A record $560,000 is being offered in City Of Newcastle grants and sponsorships in 2018 to help activate public places, enhance community wellbeing and strengthen the city's reputation as a destination for tourism, business and events.
L-R: Light Up Newcastle organiser Sally Hill, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, Bikers for Kids Newcastle Toy Run treasurer Stephen Meek and Bikers for Kids organiser Bec Dujin
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said applications opened today for a wide range of grants and sponsorships to be awarded in the next financial year.
"Our grants and sponsorships are a vital community-building tool. They enhance community wellbeing, improve the city's identity and make Newcastle a better place in which to live, work, play and invest."
"We provide financial support for all levels of the community, from niche improvements to the suburban landscape to major events attracting visitors from interstate and overseas."
For the first time, applying for grants and sponsorships will be an online-only process this year, done via the SmartyGrants platform.
A workshop will be held on Wednesday 11 April to help interested groups navigate the application process.
The Lord Mayor said other changes to the program in 2018 were designed to streamline the process and clarify the purpose of each grant or sponsorship category.
Community place making grants of up to $4000 will be offered for community-driven activations and activities. This stream of funding has been revamped this year and combines the former community assistance and place making programs.
Place making grants awarded in 2017 included funding for live performances of orchestral music at the city's beaches, an art project at the Islington Park skate bowl and the establishment of local food cooperative The Shared Pear in Elermore Vale.
Meanwhile, event sponsorship will be provided across five categories this year:
1. Community Events (up to $5000)
2. Major Community Events (up to $15,000)
3. Major Destination Events (up to $20,000)
4. Commercial Events (up to $10,000)
5. Business Events (up to $5000)
The Australian Bowlriding Championships, the Newcastle Toy Run and the Light Up Newcastle Lantern Walk were among the events Council sponsored in the last round of funding.
"Our events sponsorship program is always the most hotly contested, with so many fantastic events - both big and small - showcasing our city," the Lord Mayor said.
Economic development sponsorships have changed direction in 2018, with a greater emphasis on projects that enhance Council's partnerships with non-government training groups and industry, trade or interest-based associations.
Allocations of up to $20,000 are available in this category.
"We are looking for organisations aligned with our Economic Development Strategy, supporting business growth and employment, encouraging innovation and improving our tourist economy," the Lord Mayor said.
Recreation facilities grants provide funding of up to $5000 to Newcastle sports groups for minor capital works projects.
Previous grants have helped fund signage for the Newy Parkrun and synthetic cricket pitches at Federal Park at Wallsend and Cook Park at Birmingham Gardens.
"I urge community groups and event organisers throughout Newcastle to check out our grants and sponsorships and apply," the Lord Mayor said.
"It costs nothing to apply and the funding we have on offer could help not just you and your project but our community as a whole. That's what it is all about."
Applications for the 2018 grants and sponsorship programs outlined above close Monday 7 May.
Applications for Council's separate arts & culture grants closed last month.
The information workshop will be held Wednesday 11 April at City Hall from 10.30am - 12 noon. To register, email: email@example.com.