15 July, 2021
Gilgandra Shire Council has allocated $101,887 towards the BIG Ideas Program, which was established in order to assist with economic development opportunities and investment in businesses in the Gilgandra region.
A total of 20 applications were received from local businesses for the Business Improvement Grant (BIG Ideas), with over $148,000 in funding requested and an estimated business contribution of $260,000.
Mayor Doug Batten noted that “the number and quality of applications received exceeded all expectations, and as a result council made the decision to combine its 2020/21 and 2021/22 budget allocations for the program.
“We are particularly pleased with the $260,000 investment commitment by local business’s to match the grant funding and we are keen to support the positive momentum in our local business’s after the impact of the prolonged drought and COVID-19 restrictions,” he said.
“All applications went through a rigorous assessment process to ensure they met the objectives and terms and conditions of the grant program. From this process, 16 projects were recommended for funding and endorsed by Council’s Economic Development Committee,” said marketing and communications manager, Kathryn Larkin.
“Not only will the projects approved for funding have a positive impact on the services available to our community, but they will also support the vitalisation of our streetscape, ensuring we are continuing to create a vibrant and welcoming environment for tourists.
“It’s a good mix of businesses in various locations throughout Gilgandra including the highway entrances to town and the Miller Street CBD which is exciting to see. These projects will help encourage new business investment, and support our activation and revitalisation blueprint for Gilgandra and our region. It will increase our offering to locals, and provides our local businesses with a great opportunity to grow their business model and capitalise on the significant increase in regional travel,” she said.
The BIG Ideas Grant Program has the following objectives:
1. Business growth: Support the growth of business in the Gilgandra region by encouraging new investment, and greater employment opportunities.
2. Sustainable economy: Encourage business innovation and enhance the diversity of the Gilgandra region’s retail mix.
3. Premise and precinct activation: Support private sector initiatives that complement council’s and the Gilgandra region’s activation and revitalisation projects, including Gilgandra’s activation blueprint.
4. Investment promotion: Promote the Gilgandra region as an attractive place to work, live and invest.
The BIG Ideas Grant is part of the overall Grow Gilgandra Program which includes council’s Shop Local Promotion, business workshops and training, business signage project, and the promotion of the Gilgandra Region including the recent launch of the regional website and associated radio advertising.
The 16 projects are identified below.
• The Royal Hotel – for exterior painting and beer garden expansion;
• Gil News and Gifts and Kildari Fashion – for an updated clothing area, shelving and displays, internal paint, exterior signage and painting façade;
• This N That Gilgandra – for shelving fit out and change rooms;
• Johnsons Family Store – for a refreshed shop front: exterior paint, fix awning, signage;
• The Next Grind – for relocating cafe/kiosk to the heritage centre (dependent on successful EOI), signage and fixed kitchen equipment;
• Gilgandra Pharmacy – for a Gilgandra Pharmacy clinic vaccination room;
• Central West Machining and Engineering – for façade activation, fascia signs, pathway and fence;
• Gilgandra Veterinary Clinic – for an equine facility;
• MH Thomas and Gilgandra Real Estate – for façade activation and exterior painting;
• Robert Moore C/- MH Thomas – for façade activation and exterior painting;
• The Openway Bookshop – for façade activation and exterior painting;
• GK and LH Rohr – to rejuvenate shop front (paint and window repair) and signage;
• The Shed – for facade improvement and river frontage activation;
• Central Stores – for landscape gardening;
• Akropolis Motel and Barneys Caravan Park – for neon front signage entrance upgrades;
• Heartland Church / Christian Outreach Centre – for façade activation: upgrade awning, external paint, internal repair.