Round Two of the Greater Sydney Uptown Grant Program has opened with hospitality operators, small businesses and collaborating individuals encouraged to apply and help bring their precinct to life.

The second round of the grant program has $6m in funding available with the aim of unlocking secret spots, creating unique spaces and supporting going-out districts. In addition the Uptown Grant Program wants to highlight and support the bespoke cultures of local areas across Greater Sydney.

24-Hour Economy Commissioner Michael Rodrigues said: “Greater Sydney is full of so many amazing stories from each local precinct and through Uptown we are providing district teams with support to showcase everything their communities have to offer. 

“We’ve already supported 21 teams with funding to bring their vision to life, and we’re looking forward to seeing even more exciting stories emerge this year.”  

New applicants from across Greater Sydney can apply for an Uptown Grant of between $100,000 to $200,000, while previous recipients can apply for $100,000 in funding.

The Uptown Grant Program is a key element of the 24-Hour Economy Strategy, encouraging place-based collaboration, promotion and storytelling within districts, and providing a platform for districts to innovate with reduced risk, ultimately becoming self-sustainable in the future. 

One of the 21 areas that was successful in gaining funding through the first round of the program was Haymarket in central Sydney, and Haymarket Alliance Precinct Coordinator Jacqui Stanton said: “With the Uptown Grant funding we have been able to do critical, foundational marketing allowing us to communicate everything Haymarket has to offer – 300 businesses, 17 cultures, food, shopping, entertainment, late night and cheap eats – all within the Sydney CBD.

“We have engaged a marketing strategy that has delivered more than 170 media articles with over 500,000 viewers in the first 6 months. We also created social media platforms and campaigns that so far have reached over 3 million viewers and built a digital and website presence to make sure tourists can find us – putting Haymarket firmly back on the map.

“Through the Uptown Grant Program, we have been able to unite and coordinate with locals and businesses within our community to support their efforts through marketing and build on Haymarket’s story.”

The Uptown Grant Program follows an eight-week Uptown Accelerator initiative that concluded late last year where district teams completed a series of workshops to expand on their ideas for their precincts and to build their capabilities.

District teams that participated in the Accelerator and those who didn’t are eligible to apply for the Uptown Grant Program. 

Applications for the grant program are now open. Applications close at 2pm on Monday, 18 March 2024. To find out more or to apply, visit the Uptown Grant Program website.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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