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Event strategy sets priority areas for growth

Thursday 13 June 2019

A new funding program will encourage organisers of sport and community events to help showcase Eurobodalla as a year-round cultural and leisure destination.

The grant program is just one of many to-do items listed in the draft Eurobodalla Event Strategy 2019-2023, endorsed for public display by Councillors at the Tuesday 11 June Council Meeting.

Shire Mayor Liz Innes said the five-year blueprint will drive a year-round calendar of events, in a move designed to boost the shire’s economy and jobs.

“We now have a vision to power our events forward,” Clr Innes said.

“By building our events calendar around two hallmark events and four or five destination events, supported by sports and community events, we’re encouraging visitors to both stay longer and holiday right through the year.”

Clr Innes said tourism was vital to the shire’s economy.

“We know many people visit the shire to attend a particular event and we to be offering encouraging them to stay longer. This strategy provides the framework for us to support events that align with this focus,” she said.

“To make it easy for event organisers to come on-board, we’re developing a portal on Council’s website. It’s a community hub to assist event organisers and will include things like event planning guidelines, marketing plan templates, compliance fact sheets, and event-evaluation tools.

“We’ve also developed a transparent assessment process to get events funded. Our hallmark, destination and sports events will use a yearly application process, but we recognise long lead times don’t always work for community organisations, so they get two grant rounds.”

Clr Innes encouraged the community to have their say on the strategy.

“In particular, the action plan is the list of specific short, medium and long-term activities we’ll undertake to support specific events, increase the number of visitors and encourage off-peak visitation, and attract funding and investment in event infrastructure and facilities,” she said.

“For example, with our proximity to both Canberra and Sydney, Eurobodalla should tempt state and national sporting organisations looking to run affordable events with quality infrastructure in a stunning location.”

Clr Innes said the strategy also formalised Council’s expectations for a return on its investment.

“We expect funded event organisers to share information on visitor attendance, media reach, attendee satisfaction and local community involvement,” she said.

“We’re looking to run a first round of grant funding by September this year, so watch this space.”

The draft Eurobodalla Event Strategy 2019-2023 is on public exhibition until Wednesday 17 July. To find out more, view the strategy, or make a submission, visit Hardcopies are also available to view at Council’s Customer Service Centre in Moruya and the Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma libraries.