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Events strategy for the region wins funding

30 June 2020

The future of events in the region will be the focus of a comprehensive events strategy to be commissioned by Southern Downs Regional Council in the new financial year.

The announcement comes after a successful submission for Building Better Regions funding was made by Council’s Economic Development and Tourism team.

The funding, which totals $21,037, will allow professional contractors to carefully map the future of events across the Southern Downs in consultation with Council and the region’s event stakeholders.

The aim of the strategy is to assist and future-proof existing events, attract a diverse range of events to the region and develop new events to drive tourism to provide an economic boost to local businesses.

President of the Stanthorpe Apple and Grape Harvest Festival 2020 Max Hunter said an events strategy was highly beneficial for regional areas and their events.

“A solid strategy can help identify the potential viability of future events, their sustainability into the future and succession planning,” he said.

“Planning an event for regions can be a challenge as many other areas are also looking to develop attractions for the visitor market.

“It is the combination of supporting and nurturing experiences and ideas along with identifying resources and vital infrastructure requirements that often get overlooked when planning to launch and manage budgets and financial viability.

“Quite often we get caught up with the enthusiasm of trying to reinvent the wheel, and lose sight of the fact that strategic planning and infrastructure are paramount in event outcomes.”

Councillor for Sport and Recreation, Events, Culture and the Arts Marco Gliori said the funding win was hugely positive for local events.

“The Southern Downs region is well-known for its iconic events and there’s absolutely no doubt this funding and the events strategy is a great step in the right direction,“ he said.

“People flock to the Southern Downs for its events and ensuring these events continue to grow and prosper over time is essential.”

“Add to that the prospect of enticing and developing new events in the region and it’s a win-win for not only the local community, but for businesses and tourism as well.”

Southern Downs Regional Council’s Economic Development and Tourism team hopes to secure a contractor and start work on the region’s first event strategy in the coming months.

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