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$500,000 Funding Boost for Local Tourism

Over $500,000 in funding has been announced by the Australian Government for projects in the Northern Inland through the Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants program. The 12 projects and events in Glen Innes, Tenterfield, Inverell, Walcha and Armidale will boost domestic visitors in the region following last summer’s bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Already we’ve heard plenty of good news stories about local tourists choosing to take their ‘stay-cation’ here in the New England, shopping local and keeping their money local as well,” said Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce. “This funding will complement that and serve as a real boost to many of our bushfire-affected communities.”

The Glen Innes community received funding for six projects and events, which Glen Innes Severn Mayor Carol Sparks said would be a great boost for the shire. “The bushfires, along with the Coronavirus pandemic and the drought, have given the New England a succession of tough times which the Federal Government has recognised as requiring support.”

Glen Innes Severn Council General Manager Craig Bennett also welcomed the funding. “It is pleasing to see such a significant commitment by the Federal Government to the New England region, and that Glen Innes Severn Council’s Local Government Area is included in the support package announced. Our iconic tourism events will appreciate the injection of funding which will assist these events in coping with the current challenges,” said Mr Bennett.

Funded projects and events in the New England include:

  • $230,680 for New England High County (NEHC) National Park Soundtrails Visitor Attractions and Promotion - Features four new Soundtrails for the following national parks: Apsley Falls, Walcha; Wollomombi Falls, Armidale; Washpool NP, Glen Innes; Bald Rock NP, Tenterfield. Funding also includes a promotional campaign for the soundtrails for NEHC Tourism Group.
  • $145,000 for Escape to Play Visitor Attraction - Funding will be used to create a new ‘escape room’ attraction in the local area based on off-the-shelf game options.
  • $145,000 for The Armidale Spring Games - The Armidale Spring Games will be a combined hockey, netball, and soccer weekend-long tournament and sporting event. Grant funding will cover the operational costs of the event.
  • $145,000 for Art Installations Tenterfield Creek - Multiple art installations strategically placed along the Tenterfield Creek walking track. Signage and interpretive boards will also be placed with the art installations and along the path providing information on the artwork and the area.
  • $20,000 for Inverell Sapphire City Festival - A 10-day festival with activities for the whole family, culminating in a finale with a festival parade, carnival and fireworks. Grant funding will be used for an entertainer/artist as a feature for the festival, advertising and fireworks.
  • $20,000 for Walcha Motorcycle Rally - An annual grassroots event for motorcycle enthusiasts. Grant funding will be used to enhance marketing activities. 
  • $20,000 for Armidale Beer & BBQ Festival - A new festival celebrating local produce and the agricultural sector. Grant funding will support marketing and promotion of the event.
  • $20,000 for Peter Allen Festival - A celebration of the music and achievements of Peter Allan. Grant funding will assist with marketing and promotion and entertainment costs.
  • $20,000 for GlenRock – A Glen Innes-based music festival aimed at youth to be held in 2021.
  • $10,000 for GlenFest - A four-day festival of music featuring a free concert for older persons, a school holiday youth workshop and charity concerts. The 2021 event will also feature the GlenFest Arts Prize.
  • $10,000 for Glen Innes Australian Celtic Festival - A unique four-day festival celebrating Celtic ceremonies and spectacles. Grant funding will be used to support marketing of the Festival via television and digital channels.
  • $10,000 for Glen Innes Minerama Fossicking, Gem & Jewellery Show - Australia's largest annual gem and jewellery show, attracting visitors and dealers from all over Australia. Grant funding will be used to assist with marketing and promotion.
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