January 18, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier | Image credit: White Sands Events Jervis Bay / Amber Jenks

Shoalhaven City Council’s Event Support Program, offering grants of up to $20,000 per event for both business and public events coming to the region, opened yesterday.

Eligibility criteria for the fund position it to attract more events outside of the region’s peak seasons of summer and school holidays throughout the year.

Applications will be assessed on their ability to bring intrastate and interstate visitors to the region, make a positive economic impact in the Shoalhaven, to become an ongoing event and to be financial sustainable.

“Tourism is a leading source of employment in the region, and in 2019 the Shoalhaven’s total tourism expenditure surpassed $1 billion,” said Shoalhaven City Council’s Tourism Manager, Coralie Bell.

“The past two years have been particularly challenging for the tourism and events industry, who, among many things, have been forced to deal with loss of income and numerous event postponements and cancellations.

“Through attracting events at times that are typically quieter, this program is designed to attract new visitors to the Shoalhaven and increase the supply of year-round local jobs, helping to prevent employers from laying off summer staff.

“We encourage event organisers everywhere to consider the beautiful Shoalhaven for their next event. Surrounded by mountains, national parks, and magnificent white sand beaches, you are choosing a world-class destination when you choose the Shoalhaven,” she said.

Located on the South Coast of NSW, two hours from both Sydney and Canberra, the region has a variety of spaces suitable for public events and conferences and already has a healthy calendar of public events, including the Huskisson Triathlon, The Viking Festival, Fairgrounds Festival and The South Coast Food and Wine Festival.

Applications for the current round of funding are open now until February 16, with the next round of funding to open in July. Events applying for funding should be held during autumn, winter and spring, preferably in the midweek.