Regional Highlight

Successful funding bid for Riverland Field Days

In the first round of the Australian Government’s highly competitive Building Better Regions Fund, support from RDA Murraylands and Riverland saw more than half of South Australia’s infrastructure funding come to three projects in the region.

One of those projects was by Riverland Field Days Inc., which won a $400,000 grant towards the construction of a new events pavilion at the Riverland Exhibition Centre.

Site works have already started. The project will include a commercial kitchen that can be used by small food businesses, and an auditorium that can seat 300 people for functions, festivals, product launches and training programs.

Tim Grieger of Riverland Field Days Inc. says that the new facility will “attract new events and activities to the region, which will bring in new wealth and create jobs on an ongoing basis.”

RDAMR assisted Riverland Field Days Inc. throughout the application process.

At the first meeting, they mapped out a course of action to meet each of the selection criteria, highlighting particular strengths and potential weaknesses of the submission, and areas to concentrate on.

Says Tim, “the support from RDAMR was pivotal in firstly understanding the criteria… and secondly in learning what supporting information was necessary to demonstrate what the project means and how it will be of value to the region.”

“The single clear message from RDAMR was that the Fund was seeking projects that would support the creation of jobs, jobs, and jobs – ongoing for the region,” says Tim.

“That message became top of my mind in everything that I worked on in the application – and not just that, in how we would use the project to achieve that for the region.”

The RDA can help all local businesses, individuals, and industry and community groups who are seeking grant funding.

This service is vital not just for attracting government funding to the region, but also for promoting standout projects, business ideas and events to leading government agencies.

Assistance can include promoting a grant program to local organisations, helping them to understand the selection criteria, reviewing an application to make sure it hits the mark, and providing a letter of support.

For the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, RDAMR and AusIndustry coordinated an information session at the Berri Town Hall.

Each applicant had an initial one-onone coaching session with RDAMR, and a final peer review to ensure their application met the criteria.

Regional Development Manager – Capability, Bruce Mellett, says “RDAMR was delighted that 15 of the 20 applications from this region made it to the short listing.”

The process was highly competitive, with almost 400 applications submitted from across the country. “To have more than half of the state’s funding come to our region in three major projects underscores the heavy lifting RDAMR did at the initial phase and then through the submission process.”

“It was also heartening that many organisations saw this Building Better Regions Fund application process as a stepping stone to future grant applications, taking a longer-term view of the whole process, rather than seeing it as a one-off scenario.”

The other successful infrastructure projects in the first round of the Fund were a facilities upgrade on the Murray River Maritime Trail, by Mid Murray Council, and new Fitness for Horticulture recreation facilities in Loxton, by the District Council of Loxton Waikerie.

The region also had success in the community investments stream, with Destination Riverland and the National Trust of South Australia receiving funding.

Round two of the Building Better Regions Fund is expected to open by the end of the year. To prepare, RDAMR will be holding a Grant Writing Workshop in November.

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“To have more than half of the state’s funding come to our region in three major projects underscores the heavy lifting RDAMR did at the initial phase and then through the submission process.”

Riverland Field Days Grant

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