Christmas has come early for country shows right across NSW with funding available to ensure these much-loved community events come back bigger and better than ever in the New Year.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said 190 agricultural shows being staged in 2022 can apply for funding under the NSW Government’s $5 million Country Shows Support Package.
“It’s been a tough few years for country shows, with drought, bushfires, storms, floods and COVID-19 disrupting plans, but as they say, the show must go on and these grants will help make that happen,” Mr Toole said.
“Country shows are the heartbeat of so many rural communities – they not only celebrate the best of the best in the community but allow visitors to experience the tastes, sights and sounds of the bush.
“These grants will provide certainty to show organisers that they can lock in suppliers, hire equipment and purchase goods, which is also great news for local businesses.
“It’s also a big win for competitors who have spent years perfecting events like wood-chopping, show jumping or baking, as they can now focus on earning the points needed to compete at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.”
AgShows NSW President Tim Capp said the Country Shows Support Package acknowledges the importance of agricultural shows to rural communities, and enables committees to plan with financial confidence and enthusiasm.
“This means our NSW shows can plan their 2022 event to bring communities together, celebrate local agriculture, improve the local wellbeing and encourage past and new volunteers to be involved in one of the biggest events on their local community calendar,” Mr Capp said.
Royal Agricultural Society of NSW President Michael Millner congratulated the NSW Nationals in the state government on the initiative.
“Regional country shows and field days play an integral role not only to the local communities they serve but to the success of the wider agricultural industry. They are a place where community spirit and agricultural practice can be fostered and celebrated, and the challenges faced over the past few years has only reinforced this,” Mr Millner said.
“Thanks to the NSW Government’s Country Show Support Package, local shows will now have access to the support they need to bring shows to back to life in 2022.”
Funding can be used for a range of reasons, including ensuring shows are COVID-Safe, subsidising stall fees, equipment hire, upgrading show facilities, or engaging locally based artists or musicians.
Funding of up to $15,000 will be available to small shows with an audience of less than 2,000 people across all event days, while medium and large shows can apply for up to $30,000 and $45,000 respectively.
The $5 million Country Shows Support Package is part of the NSW Government’s $200 million Regional Recovery Package, which will deliver long-term support and certainty for the regions as the state reopens.
Applications are now open and close on Friday, April 29, 2022, or when funding is exhausted.
For further information, including program guidelines and eligibility criteria, go to: www.nsw.gov.au/CountryShows.