Newcastle community groups, organisations and businesses are set to benefit from close to $1 million in community grants and sponsorship funding.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes reading Threlkeld books from the Newcastle Libraries rare books collection with University of Newcastle Archivist Gionni Di Gravio and 2021 City of Newcastle grant recipient Glenn Dormand, Stories of Our Town Director.

City of Newcastle has opened up applications for projects and initiatives under four categories to support social, cultural, environmental and economic initiatives.  

Newcastle Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes, said the funding was aimed at initiatives that activated public places, enhanced community wellbeing and strengthened the city’s reputation as a tourism, business and events destination. 

“City of Newcastle’s grants and sponsorships provide vital funding to benefit community initiatives through enhancing wellbeing and contributing to our city being a great place to live, work, play, visit and invest,” Cr Nelmes said.  

“We provide funding to a variety of activities, projects and events annually, including recreation facilities, business façade improvements, community initiatives, arts, culture and heritage, as well as environmental and social inclusion projects.”

The community grant funding category is available to help community groups, sporting clubs, recreation clubs and service organisations in areas including arts, culture and heritage, environment and social inclusion.  

Minor infrastructure improvements for recreational facilities, sustainability and façade upgrades are available under the infrastructure grants category. 

Event sponsorships are open for events that promote active and vibrant spaces, attract local and out of region visitation and enhance Newcastle’s profile as an events city.

Economic development sponsorships will be provided for activities that enable skills and innovation and are considered city-shaping initiatives. 

Last year the City of Newcastle funded a wide range of community-building initiatives such as improvements to sporting facilities at New Lambton’s Alder Park, Cook Park in Shortland, Corroba Oval in Stockton Stevenson Park in Mayfield and Hamilton Park Tennis Club.

Inclusive festivals and events were also funded, including Surfing the Spectrum, technology proficiency events for seniors and an Afghan community festival.

Also funded were creative arts projects such as the National Young Writers Festival and the Spirit of Newcastle project from Curious Legends.

The funded environmental and sustainability initiatives were events like the Seaside Scavenge and Go Circular’s Circular Economic Leadership project.

Glenn Dormand of local filmmaking project Stories of Our Town received grant funding for a film last year, which focused on the missionary Reverend Threlkeld and Biraban, who worked to preserve local Aboriginal language 200 years ago.  

Local government grants have enabled Tony Whittaker and Glenn Dormand from Stories of Our Town to undertake a recent film project. Photo source: Hunter Living Histories.

Dormand said the documentary, Biraban and The Reverend Threlkeld: Finding the Third Space, had utilised a “stellar collection” of both First Nation and European Academics and credited its existence to the “generous support” of City of Newcastle grant funding.

“This is the third film they’ve helped with and easily the most important. How wonderful to have our local government put such a value on this important piece of our history,” Dorman said.

Applications for grants and sponsorship funding are open now until May 30, 2022.

Online community workshops outlining the application process will be held on May 11 and 16.

Further details can be viewed on the City of Newcastle’s website.

Information source: City of Newcastle

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