Bang for buck – Fireworks funding used for new off-peak events

Money from Warrnambool’s cancelled New Year’s Eve fireworks display is being redirected to fund new community events and aid in the COVID-19 recovery of the local economy.

Applications for the Activate Warrnambool Grants are now open, with small to medium events able to apply for up to $5000 while large festivals and events can apply for up to $10,000.

Events can be held between May and November 2021, with the aim of encouraging more visitors to Warrnambool, increasing local spending and creating memorable experiences for locals.

The $77,000 program is part of Council’s COVID-19 support program, and includes the $22,000 originally earmarked for the city’s 2020/2021 New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Warrnambool Mayor Cr Vicki Jellie said that Council was committed to supporting a broad calendar of events, especially during the quieter months of the year.

“Spending data shows that last summer was even busier than the one before, which is just what our local businesses needed after a devastating 2020 for so many,” Cr Jellie said.

“We still have Easter and the May Racing Carnival to come, but the off-peak time to follow will be really tough for a lot of businesses, especially with Federal support programs like JobKeeper coming to an end.

“As well as helping the local economy and attracting visitors, a diverse and vibrant events calendar is just as important for locals and the liveability of our city.

“If you’ve got an idea for a great new event for the city, and you’ve got the passion and the skills to make it happen, we want to hear from you.

“We saw with events last year like the Solstice Searching neon sculpture tour that a simple concept, executed well, can be very successful.”

Applications close on Monday April 19.

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