Five local tourism, entertainment and arts organisations will benefit from more than $500,000 in funding from the City of Newcastle.
The funding comes under council’s Industry Response Grant Program which aims to provide a much-needed shot in the arm for the local entertainment and arts industries in the wake of COVID-19.
The Hunter Writers Centre, Field Frequency, the University of Newcastle, Olive Tree Markets, and the Business Centre were announced as successful recipients on Thursday and their unique, collaborative projects will help reinvigorate the local economy.
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.
“These local initiatives are unique, innovative and leverage our City’s strengths to provide support to people hardest hit by COVID-19,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
“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 program was developed in collaboration with the City Taskforce and member and Newcastle Business Chamber CEO Bob Hawes echoed Cr Nelmes’ sentiment.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
The Industry Response Program grant recipients are as follows:
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.
Field Frequency – Smart City LIVE Music TV Show
Local production company Field Frequency will produce a live-stream music series, using broadcast collaborations to maximise the recovery of the local arts and entertainment industry. The show will highlight the eclectic and plentiful range of established new talent this city has to offer.
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.