Event organisers from across the region now have the chance to share in almost $400,000 as a new funding program is launched by Southern Downs Regional Council.

The Local Events Funding Program (LEFP) is a temporary funding program facilitated by Southern Downs Regional Council and is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments as a component of the 2019 Queensland Bushfires Community Recovery Package under Category C of the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Recognising the importance of the events industry, the LEFP will assist and support event organisers by providing a funding source to help develop and deliver successful and sustainable events that make a positive contribution to the Southern Downs regional economic outcomes.

The intent of the program is to develop high quality, innovative products, events, and experiences and generate local and visitor economic activity in the Southern Downs and Granite Belt region. The Industry Framework for COVID-19 safe events is applicable for all events and sets out key principles and provides strategies to limit the transmission of COVID-19 and offers guidance to event organisers.

Southern Downs Regional Councillor Marco Gliori said it had been a tough few years for the community who had been hit hard by the combined impacts of drought, bushfires, and the COVID-19 pandemic. “Creating a strong events calendar will assist greatly with the economic recovery of the region and the funding is a positive boost,” Cr Gliori said. “We anticipate interest from organisers who host existing events as well as potentially attracting new signature events to the region.”

The $380, 000 funding is open to any cultural, creative, and sporting organisations, for-profit organisations and businesses as well as not-for-profit organisations that can deliver events/projects or activity in the Southern Downs and Granite Belt region. There are two tiers of funding available. Tier One (1) up to $15 000 or Tier Two (2) up to $30 000 per eligible organisation which must be spent locally where possible. Funding is available for projects or activities taking place between 1 March 2021 and 28 February 2022. Eligible organisations can apply online with applications closing at midnight on Sunday 6 December 2020.

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