Grants and Funding Opportunities

Please note that RDA Northern Inland do not directly administer grant programs and do not directly provide grants to project proponents. However, there are many grants, awards and other funding opportunities available to organisations and individuals in the Northern Inland and each month we will be highlighting some of them below.


If you have any questions regarding funding opportunities please contact our office on (02) 6771 0700


Don't pay for free grants information!
The ACCC warns that small business owners and entrepreneurs should be careful of websites that charge for grant related services, when such assistance is already available for free. More info here.


National Stronger Regions Fund

he National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) is an Australian Government competitive grants program which will provide $1 billion over five years from 2015/16 (including $200 million in 2018/19 and 2019/20) to fund priority infrastructure in regional communities. Regional Development Australia Northern Inland can assist with your application.


  • Applications for Round 2 close on 31 July 2015
  • Grants must be between $20,000 and $10 million.
  • Local Government and incorporated not-for-profit organisations are eligible to apply.
  • Grant funding must be matched in cash on at least a dollar for dollar basis.
  • Funding will be provided for capital projects which involve construction of new infrastructure, or the upgrade, extension or enhancement of existing infrastructure.
  • The project must deliver an economic benefit to the region beyond the period of construction.
  • Projects should support disadvantaged regions or areas of disadvantage within a region.
  • The NSRF funded part of the project must be completed on or before 31 December 2019

Find out more at

Regional Industries Investment Fund

The Regional Industries Investment Fund (RIIF) has been established by NSW Trade and Investment to drive economic growth in regional NSW as well as enhancing the attractiveness of regional areas. Financial assistance is available under this Fund for projects across regional NSW that result in or promote economic outcomes for the State.


Further information is available on the NSW Trade and Investment website here.


Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme

Introducing the Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme – now accepting Business Evaluation and Business Growth Grant applications.


The Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme, which is delivered through the Australian Government’s new Single Business Service, offers easy to access practical support to Australian businesses in a simplified and streamlined way. It is a new approach to the way government provides services to business that recognises Australia’s diverse business landscape and that the market and industry is changing in the global economy.


The Programme aims to improve the capabilities of small to medium enterprises to become more competitive and grow.


The Programme is now accepting applications for Business Evaluations, and Business Growth Grants under the Business Management stream. Information, including guidelines and application forms, are now available through


Business Evaluations – provide a top to bottom analysis of an eligible business, which meet the eligibility requirements and threshold qualifications, at their premises at no fee to the business for this service. The business receives a detailed report and recommendations for the business to make improvements. Evaluations are delivered through our national network of more than 100 experienced private sector advisers.


Business Growth Grants – are small, co-funded grants to engage external expertise to assist businesses with implementing improvements recommended by their Business Evaluation. Businesses must have received a Business Evaluation to be eligible to apply for a Business Growth Grant.


The Research Connections (September) and Commercialising Ideas (November) streams of the Programme will come online later this year and information about those services will be available in coming months.


Featured Grants

Innovation Funding Boost for Local Rural Councils

Northern Inland Councils are encouraged to apply for the $4 million Fit for the Future Innovation Fund for rural councils which opens in November this year.

The fund is designed to support rural and regional councils in providing services and infrastructure for communities with a population of less than 10,000 people.

It is part of a $1 billion funding package for local government in NSW.

“The initiative provides one-off grants of up to $150,000 for individual councils and up to $400,000 for projects involving more than one council,” said Member for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall. “Small rural and regional communities face unique challenges in sustaining their communities and maintaining local services. The Innovation Fund will help address some of these challenges.”

The Innovation Fund assessment criteria include:

  • Clear community benefits from the project;
  • The use of new and more efficient processes, technology and ways of working;
  • Value for money;
  • Positive impact on Council’s future performance against the Fit for the Future criteria; and
  • Risk management identified


Councils can find out more on the Fit for the Future website:

Google Ad Grants

Applications are ongoing

Google Ad Grants is the nonprofit edition of AdWords, Google's online advertising tool. Google Ad Grants empowers nonprofit organisations, through $10,000 per month in in-kind AdWords™ advertising, to promote their missions and initiatives on Google search result pages.


Further information is available at:

Regional Visitor Economy Fund

The 2015-16 Regional Visitor Economy Fund (RVEF) is now open to receive applications from the regional NSW tourism industry.

The funds available for the 2015-16 financial year totaled $7.2 million, which is part of the $21.6 million record funding commitment, announced by the NSW government in 2012.

The fund is administered by the Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, providing investment into the regional visitor economy on a matched dollar-for-dollar basis, and supporting projects that contribute to achieving the goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure to NSW by 2020.
Further information on the Regional Visitor Economy Fund, including guidelines and the application form, is available from


Applications for round one of the 2015-16 Contestable Fund will close on Friday, 12 June 2015.


Applications for the Quarantined Fund will close on Friday, 30 November 2015. All applications must be submitted using the online application form.


Industry Skills Fund – Youth Stream

Applications ongoing

The Industry Skills Fund - Youth Stream includes two pilot programmes, Training for Employment Scholarships and Youth Employment Pathways, which will address youth unemployment by supporting businesses to employ more young people; and community organisations to help young people return to school, start vocational training or move into work.

Training for Employment Scholarships supports training that meets the needs of your business and assists young people who are ready for employment, but require further training.

If your business has less than 200 employees, and you hire an unemployed person aged 18 to 24 years after 1 March 2015, you may be eligible for funding of up to $7 500 for the cost of up to 26 weeks job specific training.

Youth Employment Pathways supports community organisations assist disengaged young people, aged 15 to 18 years, to get back into school, start vocational training, or move into work.

Community service organisations may be eligible for financial support to purchase or provide services to meet individuals’ needs such as intensive case management, job search, mentoring and other services relevant to young people.

The two pilot programmes; Training for Employment Scholarships and Youth Employment Pathways, are available until 29 February 2016 in selected regional areas and areas of high youth unemployment.

Aboriginal Benefits Foundation

Applications are Ongoing

The Foundation provides grants to assist Aboriginal communities and individuals by providing funds to support projects which advance the aims of the Foundation, with the current focus on supporting art, health and cultural projects with a connection to Aboriginal art and/or artists. Find out more on their website  at

Assistance for small exporters

Applications are ongoing

On 13 May 2014, the government announced a $15 million package to assist small exporters, comprising three components – a rebate for eligible small exporters is available in 2014-15 to assist with export registration charges; a review of export fees and charges; and funding for projects that will help improve market access for small exporters.

10 million over 3 financial years is available through the Department of Agriculture. Further details can be found on their website at:

Industry Skills Fund - Youth Stream - Business (AUS)

Applications close: 29th of February 2016

The Industry Skills Fund - Youth Stream includes two pilot programmes, Training for Employment Scholarships and Youth Engagement Pathways.

Museum Grants

Applications are ongoing

Museums & Galleries of NSW (M&G NSW) provides programs and services improving the visitor experience in small to medium museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres across NSW.

National Cultural Heritage grants

Applications are ongoing

The National Cultural Heritage Account is open to Australian cultural organisations—including museums, art galleries, libraries, archives, historic buildings, national trusts and local history museums and galleries, and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander keeping place for sacred/secret material.


Festivals Australia: Regional Festivals Project Fund


The Regional Festivals Project Fund supports the inclusion of an arts project at festivals in regional and remote Australia. Grants are available to support the costs to produce and present an arts activity and there is no limit on the amount that can be requested.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to speak with an Australia Council Grants Officer before applying to this fund.

For more information and to apply, visit their website here.

The Australia Council for the Arts Grant runs a wide range of grants and programs with closing dates from March to December

A range of grants are available ranging from $5,000 to 6 year organistation funding grants.

Further information is available on their website here.


Department of Veterans' Affairs - Veteran & Community Grants

Applications are Ongoing


The Veteran and Community Grants (V&CG) programme aims to maintain and improve the independence and quality of life for members of the veteran community by providing funding for projects that support activities and services to sustain or enhance health and wellbeing.
More Information is available on their website here.

Heritage Funding For Local Communities


The government’s NSW Heritage Grants program makes $6.5 million available for heritage and conservation over the next two years. The purpose is to help local communities preserve tangible reminders of our past and conserve them for future generations.


Grants are available in four streams spanning Aboriginal, youth and seniors, state and local heritage projects.


The 2015/16 and 2016/17 program will provide:

  •     $550,000 for Aboriginal heritage places;
  •     $1 million for community, youth and seniors heritage projects;
  •     $2.42 million for State Heritage Register-listed places, including $2.2 million for major works projects; and
  •     $2.35 million for local heritage places.


To find out more about the NSW Heritage Grants program and to apply for grants visit


Farm Household Allowance

The Farm Household Allowance (FHA) provides eligible farmers and their partners who are experiencing financial hardship with assistance and support to improve their long-term financial situation.


Eligible farmers and their partners will be able to access up to three years of payment. This is designed to give farm families time to get back on their feet and the opportunity to take steps to improve their circumstances.


Please go to the Human Services website here for further information.

NSW Arts & Cultural Development Program

Applications close on various dates


A new arts and cultural development program will be introduced in 2015 to replace the Arts Funding Program. The new Arts and Cultural Development Program (ACDP) will deliver quality arts and cultural experiences to diverse audiences across the State, and support a resilient creative sector.
The new structure offers arts and cultural organisations the opportunity to progress from project funding to annual program funding, and then on to multi-year funding, depending on their capacity to achieve sustained success.



Innovate NSW – TechVouchers

Applications are ongoing


Innovate NSW TechVouchers (TV) assists technology SMEs to collaborate with a NSW research organisation to overcome a technical challenge or test a new technology.

The grant provides matched funding of up to 50% of total project cost to a maximum of $15,000 to the research organisation/partner. SMEs can connect with an expert in their field and engage on a joint research project, or access high tech instruments and facilities for testing and feasibility studies.


Further details are available at:

Australian Communities Foundation

Applications are ongoing

Australian Communities Foundation supports a range of charitable organisations and projects each year. The Foundation’s grants are made locally, nationally and internationally through Australian registered charitable organisations. It’s one way our foundation recognises the essential role the not-for-profit sector plays in supporting and building strong and resilient communities as well as assisting those most in need.

Grants fall broadly into the areas of arts & culture, community development & advocacy, community services & welfare, disability, education, training & employment, environment, health & medical research, overseas aid & development. Specific target groups are also supported, including Indigenous communities and refugee/asylum seekers.

Further information can be found on their website:


New Enterprise Incentive Scheme

Applications are ongoing


If you are an eligible job seeker and are interested in starting and running a small business, you may be able to access assistance through the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS). NEIS can provide you with accredited small business training, business advice and mentoring for the first year of your business operating, as well as income support for up to 39 weeks.

Your local NEIS provider can help you put your business idea into practice. They will provide you with individualised assistance to help you achieve your goals, and will maintain regular contact with you to provide extra help if you experience any business problems or need other additional support.

Further details are available on the Department of Employment’s website at


NSW – Grants - NSW Club Grant

Employment programs fit under Category 1 of the NSW Club Grants scheme and a funding round is expected shortly. Last year, registered clubs allocated more than $92 million to deserving causes through the ClubGRANTS program.


  • Category 1: Supports community welfare and social services; community development; employment assistance activities; community health services; and projects aimed at improving the living standards of low income and disadvantaged people.
  • Category 2: Provides funding for general community development and support activities, such as junior sport.
  • Category 3: Is a state-wide fund that supports large-scale community infrastructure projects, such as hospitals and sporting facilities.


Details are available on the Clubs NSW website here.


The Propeller Fund

Applications are Ongoing


Propeller, an initiative from The Foundation for Young Australians, exists to celebrate and enable youth-led social change initiatives in local communities across Australia. Quality short films tell the stories of ordinarily extraordinary young people leading social change projects and are showcased on the Propeller online platform alongside helpful tips and resources.

Propeller projects are youth-led, have a social or environmental focus, demonstrate local impact and have community networks and support.


Check out the videos of young people making stuff happen. Get inspired. Copy ideas. Start your own thing. Apply for funding. Be the Propeller.


Fint out more on the Propeller Project website:


Community Support Programme

Applications are ongoing

The Community Support Programme (CSP) through the Department of Social Services assists child care providers to establish or maintain viable services in parts of the country where they might not otherwise be viable or able to meet the unique requirements of the community, such as in disadvantaged or regional and remote areas.

The CSP provides support to child care services in the following ways:
• Establishment and Sustainability Assistance to Mainstream services i.e., mainly those services that are approved to administer Child Care Benefit on behalf of families. There are a range of payments for Mainstream services that are dependent on the type of child care service, its size and location.
• Budget Based Funding to Non-Mainstream services i.e., services that provide child care in communities where mainstream services are not available or viable or where there is a need for Indigenous- focused or culturally competent services.


Find out more on their website at:


Arts NSW’s Project Funding - Regional Capital

Applications close: 2nd of October 2015

Regional Capital funding is offered through the Arts & Cultural Development Program and for successful applicants, will provide matched funding of up to $60,000 for projects and purchases commencing from January 2016.

Funds are available for capital works and the purchase of equipment used for arts and cultural purposes. Capital works can include construction, alteration, renovation, completion or fitting out of buildings or facilities for arts and cultural use. Funding can support for example, the purchase of auditorium seating, storage units, and equipment such as theatre and exhibition lighting and sound systems, air-conditioning, stage machinery and electrical systems which improve the usability of arts and cultural facilities.


Find out more at:

Useful Links

GRANTSLink - GrantsLINK makes it easier to find suitable and relevant grants for your community projects from the many Australian government grants that are available.

Grants & Assistance Finder
- Finding business-related government grants and assistance has never been easier. This tool provides a listing of Australian, state and territory grants and assistance.


Community Builders - Looking for funding for your community project? Here's a list of funding programs from federal, state and local government, as well as institutions, philanthropic trusts and businesses. Search by the kind of project you’re looking to fund, or by the organisation you’re looking for funding from.

Innovate NSW

There are three funding elements to Innovate NSW:

  • Minimum Viable Product (MVP) grants provide matched funding up to $15,000 to assist technology SMEs to engage with a potential business customer to demonstrate an idea, prove a concept, develop a prototype or customise a B2B solution that addresses a high growth opportunity or challenge for a key sector.
  • TechVouchers (TV) grants provide up to $15,000 in matched funding for technology SMEs to collaborate with a NSW research organisation to overcome a specific technical challenge or test a new technology. As with the MVP grant, the technology should address a high growth opportunity or challenge for a potential business customer in a key market sector (as detailed above).
  • Collaborative Solutions (CS) provides grants of up to 25% of project costs (to a maximum of $100,000), for consortia to develop an innovative solution that addresses a high growth opportunity or challenge in a key sector (as noted above). The consortia must include three entities: a technology SME with the ability to develop and commercialise the solution (Lead Company), a pilot business customer in a key sector that is willing to test the solution (Pilot Organisation), and at least one partner company that will provide additional technology, research capabilities, or assistance to scale the solution. Note: the Pilot Organisation is not committed to purchase the product, but to guide the product development.


Evaluation Criteria
While the Key Requirements for each program element varies, all applications are competitively assessed against the following criteria:

  •  Innovative Use of Enabling Technologies
  •  Strength of the Business Model
  •  Industry Sector Benefits
  •  Economic Benefits to NSW


For more information and application guidelines, please visit:


Tendering is becoming a vital part of how many businesses in the Northern Inland operate on a day to day basis.

Both state and federal governments often have projects open for tender. For more information on NSW State Government Tenders please go to for further information on Federal Government Tenders please go to

Commercial tenders are also becoming more popular. For more information on the commercial tendering process please go to or

The Industry Capability Network (ICN) creates opportunity for New South Wales and Australian industry. If you are developing a supply chain and need a competitive local source of supply, ICN can help.

ICN bridges the information gap between buyers and sellers by advising on:

  • supply chain development
  • import replacement
  • local industry capability and capacity

For more information please go to