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What is the Stronger Country Communities Fund?
The Stronger Country Communities Fund is a grant opportunity that aims to deliver grassroots projects that reinvigorate the rural communities in every single Local Government Area in regional NSW.
The Stronger Country Communities Fund was established in 2017 by the NSW Government to deliver local projects that enhance the lives and wellbeing of regional communities.
Round 5 aims to boost the wellbeing of communities in regional areas by providing new or upgraded social and sporting infrastructure, or community programs that have strong local support. A total of $160 million is available, including up to $50 million for projects delivered by eligible community organisations.
The Stronger Country Communities Fund is administered by the Department of Regional NSW (DRNSW).
The objective of the Stronger Country Communities Fund is to boost the wellbeing of communities in regional areas by providing new or upgraded social and sporting infrastructure or community programs that have strong local support.
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For both infrastructure projects and programs, the minimum grant funding amount is $100,000 and the maximum amount is the Local Government Area total funding allocation.
For requests over $2 million, a financial co-contribution of 25 percent is required.
Projects must be for infrastructure or community programs that boost the wellbeing of regional areas through improved amenity and positive social outcomes. Community amenity projects must be for either:
- construction of new, or upgrades to existing, local community infrastructure
- construction of new, or upgrades to existing, local sporting infrastructure
- capital works related to street beautification and other public places that promote the health, happiness and wellbeing of the community
- delivering programs that benefit the local community and provide public benefit
- infrastructure to assist the delivery of general community programs
- infrastructure or community projects or programs which improve and promote accessibility and inclusion.
Projects are not eligible for funding if they are:
- located outside an eligible regional Local Government Area
- not submitted by an eligible entity
- located across multiple Local Government Areas boundaries
- exclusively for planning activities (e.g. master planning or heritage studies)
- for the maintenance or construction of local roads or other ongoing core service infrastructure works that are the ordinary responsibility of council or other levels of government
- for the delivery of essential or core government services funded from another source, such as local government, NSW Government or Commonwealth Government
- seeking retrospective funding to cover any project component already completed before applicants are informed of the outcome or funding is announced
- for ongoing staff or operational costs beyond two years from project announcement for programs, or any ongoing staff or operational costs for infrastructure projects
- for a general works package without specific scope, costs and location (e.g. ‘upgrading lighting at sports ovals’ without identifying the work required, number of sites or locations)
- exclusively for marketing, branding, advertising or product promotion, including tourism marketing
- providing direct commercial and/or exclusive private benefit to an individual or business
- not clearly providing benefits that will significantly contribute to the objectives of the Stronger Country Communities Fund.
Eligible applicants include:
- NSW regional councils, excluding Greater Sydney, Wollongong & Newcastle
- NSW regional joint organisations of councils
- Section 355 committees of council (must apply via the relevant council)
- community organisations registered as incorporated associations
- Not-for-profit community organisations registered as public companies
- Local Aboriginal Land Councils
- Lord Howe Island Board
- Unincorporated Far West groups
Non-government and community organisations must hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) or Australian Company Number (ACN) or be registered with NSW Fair Trading under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 or incorporated under a Australian, state or territory Act of Parliament. Applicants must have, or be able to purchase, at least $20 million Public Liability Insurance.
Ineligible applicants include:
- individuals or groups of individuals
- unincorporated organisations
- for-profit commercial organisations
- applicants located in Greater Sydney, Wollongong or Newcastle.
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Applications close 23 September 2022.
The NSW Government has announced the successful projects to receive funding under Round Four of Stronger Country Communities Fund. These 435 projects share the $100 million allocated to improve the lives of people in regional NSW.
Of the $100 million investment, almost $50 million will be injected into projects supporting female participation in sport.