1 About the program
The Local Events Funding Program (LEFP) is a temporary funding program 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.
The Local Events Funding Program will secure and develop a strong calendar of destination events that align and respond to the strategic priority “Facilitate and develop quality products, events and experiences” in Council’s “Tourism Strategy 2017-2020” which underpins “Southern Downs Regional Council Economic Development Strategy 2017-2020”.
Destination and signature events are important contributors to local and regional economies. A successful well run event can provide significant value to an area by adding jobs and money to the local economy and providing additional cultural and social benefits. Recognising the importance of this industry, the LEFP was created to 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 objectives of the Local Events Funding Program are to:
- Attract external visitation to the destination of Southern Downs and Granite Belt
- Enhance the profile and appeal of the region as a destination
- Develop high quality, innovative products, events and experiences and strengthen the Southern Downs & Granite Belt destination events calendar
- Generate visitor and local economic activity in the Southern Downs & Granite Belt region
Note: Where and if possible grant funds must be spent on suppliers located within the Southern Downs Region.
The Local Events Funding Program Round Two is valued at $230,000 with two tiers of funding available:
Tier One: up to $15,000 for event organisers seeking general assistance to enhance the presentation and delivery of their destination event/festival and to support sustainability and growth.
Tier Two: from $15,001 to $30,000 for signature destination events that can demonstrate a strong track record of growth or growth potential, or that encourage high tourist visitation and increased economic development opportunities.
|Tier One||<$15 000|
|Tier Two||$15 001 – $30 000|
3 Local Events Funding Program Round Dates
The Local Events Funding Program will host two rounds. Round One is already complete with Round Two opening 1 March 2021.
|Applications Open||1 March 2021*|
|Applications close||25 April 2021*|
|For projects||1 July 2021 – 30 June 2022*|
|Notification to applications||28 May 2021*|
* Subject to change should there be any further Covid Safe Event restrictions.
4 Who can apply?
– Cultural, creative and sporting organisations;
– For-profit organisations and businesses;
– Not-for-profit organisations;
The four (4) common legal structures that are used to incorporate a not-for-profit organisation based in Queensland are:
1. Incorporated Association (“IA”);
2. Company Limited by Guarantee (“CLG”);
3. Cooperative (“Co-Op”);
4. Indigenous Corporation (“IC”).
5 Eligibility Criteria
Applications to Council to the Local Events Funding Program Round Two are open to registered organisations, businesses, individuals and/or not-for-profit organisations that meet the eligibility criteria:
- The proposed event must be held in the Southern Downs LGA;
- Applicants located and operating within the Southern Downs Regional Council area will be given preference;
- Must hold an Australian Business Number (“ABN”);
- Must have current and appropriate insurance cover for the project and attach evidence to the application;
- Applicants need to advise if it has any debt to Council which includes, outstanding lease fees, capital loan repayments, rates, debts or scheduled payment arrangements.
6 Who cannot apply?
– Applications to Council for the Local Events Funding Program cannot be made by:
– Government Agencies or Departments of Local, State or Federal Government and
– Statutory Authorities (incl. – Rural Fire Brigades);
– Organisations that have not acquitted previously received Council funding;
7 What is eligible for funding?
- Strategic plan development;
- Implementation of new innovative strategies to increase visitation to existing events including event development and tourism marketing;
- Marketing costs;
- Engagement of short-term specialised personnel;
- Hire temporary infrastructure.
Funding allocated to specific activities will be determined at the discretion of the Southern Downs Regional Council.
8 What is not eligible for funding?
- Development of privately owned facilities, without broader community benefit;
- Funding for cash, donations, prize money or sponsorship;
- Operational Expenses (e.g. – wages, rates, water & utility rates);
- Administration expenses/sundries (e.g. – printer cartridges, stationery, tea, coffee);
- Full-time employment costs
- Catering for the event;
- Payment of a debt;
- Political activities;
- Projects anticipated to take place outside the dates specified by Council;
- Events or activities which have already started (no retrospective funding)
- Projects run solely for fundraising purposes, without broader community benefit.
9 Application process
All Local Events Funding applications are completed and submitted to Council online via SmartyGrants.
The application assessment process takes approximately 8 weeks from the date that the Round closed.
Applicants are encouraged to attach letters of support to their application form.
10 Pre-Eligibility Criteria
The applicant organisation, or its auspicing organisation, will need to attach to the application form its latest audited financial statement and two (2) of the organisation’s most recent bank statements.
Project Budget and Quotes
The applicant organisation needs to ensure that;
– The project budget should be thoroughly thought through, realistic and value for money;
– Quotes need to be dated, authentic and no more than two (2) months old;
– Where possible quotes must be from suppliers of goods and services from the Southern Downs Region;
– Only attach one (1) quote from each supplier of goods and services (i.e. – If your organisation obtained three quotes, only attach the quote your organisation has decided to accept).
11 Application Assessment Criteria
The Local Events Funding Program is designed to meet and respond to the strategic priority “Facilitate and develop quality products, events and experiences” in Council’s “Tourism Strategy 2017-2020” which underpins “Southern Downs Regional Council Economic Development Strategy 2017-2020.
Links below to read more about Councils Strategic Planning and Policy.
|1||Facilitate and develop quality products, events and experiences|
|The Southern Downs and Granite Belt offers a solid variety of tourism products, events and experiences across four primary product sectors: events, nature-based activities, wine and local flavours and heritage and culture.
Growth in visitor numbers and expenditure in the Region is dependent on ensuring the Region’s tourism product continues to mature. Attention needs to focus on those niche product sectors that are true to the inherent attributes and strengths of the Region and have the potential to drive new demand.
|Develop high quality, innovative products, events and experiences||Facilitate the development of attractions, events and experiences that will strengthen or complement the four primary sectors|
|Promote events as an integral part of the visitor experience|
|Attract new events in niche markets – e.g.: conferences and business meetings, weddings, vintage car clubs, mountain biking, cycling, paddock to plate etc.|
The Local Events Grant Application Assessment Criteria carries a total percentage weighting of 100% and is made up of the following –
|Quality||10%||Does the type of event/project align with Council’s “Tourism Strategy 2017-2020”?|
|Does the applicant demonstrate experience delivering the required activities/services|
|Feasibility||30%||Can the event/project be delivered on time, on budget and to a high standard?|
|Is the Risk Management assessment and Event Management Plan appropriate?|
|Is the event sustainable and able to run in future years?|
|Reach||20%||Will the project attract external visitation to the destination of Southern Downs and Granite Belt?|
|Will the project benefit the Southern Downs broader community?|
|Is the marketing plan tourism and visitor focused?|
|Outcomes||40%||Will the project add economic value to the community and businesses in the region?|
|Will the event increase business confidence with the increased volume of visitors?|
|Demonstrates an understanding of the objectives of the funding round|
|Does the event strengthen local business and community connection?|
12 Assessment & Decision Process
Applicants need to be aware that the Council’s Local Events Funding application process takes approximately 8 weeks from the date that the round closed.
Council’s Economic Development & Tourism team is responsible for assessing the pre-eligibility criteria for each Local Events Grant application in accordance with the Local Events Grant Guidelines. If the pre-eligibility criteria have not been met, the application may not proceed to the Application Assessment Criteria stage.
When the Local Events Funding applications have been assessed as meeting the pre-eligibility criteria, they progress to the Application Assessment Criteria stage and are assessed against the percentage weighted questions. The Assessment & Moderation Panel (“Panel”) individually assess each application against the criteria using a scoring system in SmartyGrants. The Panel consists of the following members –
• One (1) Councillor – nominated by the Council;
• Two (2) Council Officers from the Economic Development department of Council; and
• One (1) Council Officer from another department of Council.
Should a member of the Panel have a conflict of interest concerning a grant application, another Council Officer will be appointed to assess that application.
At the end of each assessment, SmartyGrants generates the moderated score for each application.
The total moderated score for each application is added together and divided by the number of Panel members who assessed the applications to find the moderated score for each application.
The Panel members meet to review and assess the final results from the assessment process of all the Local Events Funding applications and agree on which applications should be recommended to the Council to be awarded funding.
The Panel’s funding recommendations are compiled into a report before progressing to the Ordinary Council Meeting for consideration and adoption.
After Council has adopted the Local Events funding recommendations, a notification will be sent in writing, via email, to all applicants. Council’s decision is final and is recorded in the Minutes of the Ordinary Council Meeting.
13 Notification Process
Unsuccessful applicants will receive notification in writing via email within two (2) weeks of the Ordinary Council Meeting.
Successful applicants will receive a Funding Offer & Agreement (“FOA”) via email to sign and return to Council for the Chief Executive Officer to sign which includes milestone payments.
If a successful not-for-profit organisation accepts the terms and conditions of the FOA, two (2) authorised persons from the applicant organisation and, if applicable, the auspicing organisation will need to sign the FOA.
If the applicant does not sign and return the FOA to Council by the date stipulated, the offer may expire, no grant will be paid to the organisation and the funding may be offered to another applicant.
14 Grant Payment Process
Once the FOA has been signed by the applicant and Council, the grant payment process commences.
Payment will be made electronically into the bank account nominated on the application form with pre-agreed milestone payment dates as per the FOA.
If the applicant organisation is being auspiced, the payment will be made to the auspicing organisation’s nominated bank account.
15 Acknowledgement of Council’s funding
All successful Local Events Funding applicants are required to actively and publicly acknowledge the Council’s financial support as well as the funding source of the Australian and Queensland Government as a component of the 2019 Queensland Bushfires Community Recovery Package under Category C of the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
This is one of the conditions of the Funding Offer & Agreement (“FOA”) that is expected from the successful applicant.
The applicant will be provided with Funding Acknowledgement Examples which details how the acknowledgement can be successfully achieved using several mediums, such as:
– Display the acknowledgement on a sign or poster at the project;
– Invite the Mayor/Councillors to the project (Allow a minimum of four (4) weeks’ notice);
– Speeches presented at the event/project (some record of the speech, e.g. a print copy of the speech, or video, would need to be retained for evidence);
– Book & borrow a Council banner to display at the project;
– Inclusion of the acknowledgement in all e.g. promotions / marketing / invitations / brochures / flyers / stickers;
– Inclusion of the acknowledgement in newspaper articles/editorials/advertisements/media releases about the project;
– In your organisation’s newsletter;
– In your organisation’s email signature block;
– On your organisation’s website;
– On your organisation’s Facebook page or other social media page; or
– In letters your organisation sent to supporters / members / participants / volunteers.
Note: it is important to consider how you will document the above examples, such as taking photos or making copies of these acknowledgement types.
If your organisation is successful in receiving funding, when it comes to acquitting your funding, you must show evidence of a minimum of three acknowledgement types and attach these to your acquittal.
16 Tips – applying for grants/funding
- Consider using a generic email address and password for your organisation that can be passed on to the new governance committee each year (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Before you start your application visit the Council’s website – www.sdrc.qld.gov.au – Local Events Funding Program – read the Guidelines and the Hints & Tips to Help Write a Successful Grant Application.
- Start your application early – don’t leave it to the last minute.
- Include data from past events where possible and seek assistance from a Council Economic Development Officer. They can provide Event Impact Data from Profile ID. Click here to learn more.
- Don’t assume the assessors of your application have any knowledge about your organisation or your project.
- Have access to a computer and the internet as all application and acquittal forms are to be completed online via SmartyGrants.
- If you don’t feel you are tech-savvy, ask a friend or relative or another member of your organisation to help you.
- Once an application or acquittal form has been submitted in SmartyGrants, an email will be sent to the email address the applicant used to register in SmartyGrants, acknowledging that Council has received the grant submission.
- Use plain language and clear messages – key points and outcomes-focused.
- Be consistent with themes throughout the application and use a logical format.
17 Prepare for Uploading Documents
– Only attach authentic screenshots or scanned documents.
– Documents submitted with your application or acquittal form will need to be in an electronic format (e.g. – pdf, word, excel).
– Uploading documents will occur during the online application and acquittal process via SmartyGrants.
– Preview the application or acquittal form first to determine which documents may need to be uploaded.
– When saving documents to upload into SmartyGrants give them meaningful names, for example:
• Bank Statement July 17;
• Letter of Support Lions Club; or
• IA Number.
– Examples of the types of documents that may need to be uploaded include:
• Letters of support – must be authentic, dated and no more than two (2) months old;
• Quotes – must be dated, authentic, no more than two (2) months old and from local suppliers of goods and services;
• Evidence of registered business or legal incorporated not-for-profit entity status;
• Evidence of financial viability; and
• Tax Invoices and Payment Receipts.
18 When You Submit
- Ask someone else to read your application – both to proof-read and to check that it makes sense.
- Check spelling and grammar.
- Check all supporting documentation is attached.
- Submit your completed application earlier than the closing date to avoid being unable to submit from unexpected interruptions (e.g. power, internet, computer outages).
- Check your email inbox and junk mail or spam folder to ensure you receive the confirmation email from SmartyGrants advising that your application or acquittal form was successfully submitted.
- Save the SmartyGrants email address into your email contacts to make sure you receive all emails into your inbox.
- If you don’t get the email from SmartyGrants, re-submit the form.
19 Funding Acquittal Process
The applicant will be emailed a copy of their fully executed FOA, a copy of Funding Acknowledgement Examples and two versions of the SDRC logo.
A grant recipient must provide Council with a completed Acquittal Form within eight (8) weeks from the project end date as stipulated in the FOA.
The acquittal process is required to ensure that public monies awarded to grant recipients have been expended for the purpose approved, as per the Application Form and in-line with the terms and conditions of the FOA.
The applicant will need to attach one (1) of the following as evidence that the funding has been expended –
– Attach a copy of the tax invoice and the receipt of payment; or
– If a payment is made online via internet banking, attach a copy of the tax invoice and a copy of the completed online internet transaction showing the receipt number; or
– Attach a tax invoice demonstrating a nil balance; or
– Attach a copy of the tax invoice with the payment details written on it (i.e. date, the amount paid and cheque number) and a copy of the signed cheque written out to the supplier or a copy of the cheque butt with the details filled out and signed.
The Acquittal Form is to be completed online via SmartyGrants.
When the funding received has been assessed as fully acquitted, the applicant will receive a confirmation email from Council and the grant file will be closed.
If the funding is not fully acquitted, the applicant will be ineligible for any future Council funding until a satisfactory acquittal is received.
20 Applicant Support
It is important that applicants can submit a well thought through and well-developed application that answers all eligibility questions, addresses all the criteria and provides the documentary evidence and support documents required.
To enable applicants to submit quality applications, the Council provides:
On its website – Guidelines; Glossary of Terms; Frequently Asked Questions;
Hints & Tips to Help Write a Successful Grant Application; and Access to Council’s Tourism Recovery Economic Officer.
Some applicants might be applying for a grant for the first time and/or have difficulty with the language of forms. Access to, or familiarity with, technology (e.g. online systems) may also be an issue for some. If applicants need translation assistance or other practical support, Council will make arrangements for appropriate assistance to be provided.
Southern Downs Regional Council
For general enquiries about Economic Development and Tourism, contact Council’s Economic Tourism Recovery Officer:
Telephone: 1300 697 372 (1300 MY SDRC)
Office Hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (Closed Public Holidays)
A SmartyGrants Help Guide for Applicants is accessible online at:
SmartyGrants – Help Guide for Applicants
Also, the SmartyGrants Frequently Asked Questions may be of assistance:
SmartyGrants – Applicant FAQ’s
Applicants can also contact the SmartyGrants support desk team:
Office Hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm AEST
Telephone: (03) 9320 6888
21 Successful Applicants from Round One.
9 February 2021
$150,000 in funding helps restart the events industry
Southern Downs Regional Council is backing the local events industry with over $150,000 in funding awarded to event organisers as part of the recently launched Local Events Funding Program (LEFP).
In a major boost to the industry, Council has approved 10 projects from across the region that will benefit from $151,907 in funding in Round One of the Program.
Southern Downs Regional Councillor Marco Gliori said Council had once again received applications for projects of a high standard.
“Council received a large number of applications which is encouraging as it speaks of the high level of business confidence in the region post the disruptive fire event late in 2019 as well as the added impact of COVID-19 restrictions in 2020.”
13 successful applicants from Round Two
28 May 2021
Regional events boosted by $230k funding
Regional events will benefit from $230k following Southern Downs Regional Council’s approval of thirteen Local Events Funding Program (LEFP) Round Two 2021 grants at the Ordinary Meeting on 26 May 2021.
The objectives of the LEFP program is to develop high quality, innovative products, events and experiences that strengthen the Southern Downs and Granite Belt events calendar, generate local and visitor economic activity in the region, attract external visitation to the destination and enhance the profile and appeal of the region as a destination.