The City of Newcastle Industry Response Program Grants awarded to help industries impacted by COVID-19

BOOST: Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes with grant recipients Matt Field, Steve Wait, Karen Crofts, Justine Gaudry and Tamara Young. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
BOOST: Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes with grant recipients Matt Field, Steve Wait, Karen Crofts, Justine Gaudry and Tamara Young. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Some of the industries hit hardest by COVID-19 in Newcastle are set to receive a $500,000 injection aimed at boosting the city's economy.

The City of Newcastle Industry Response Program Grants will support five recipients to facilitate hospitality, arts and tourism projects that will provide benefits for the city, businesses and people.

The projects include a hometown holiday project run by the University of Newcastle, a live music TV show by production brand Field Frequency, a small business recovery centre set up by The Business Centre, a multi-arts activation organised by Hunter Writers Centre and an online market platform facilitated by The Olive Tree Market.

The grants program was developed in collaboration with the City Taskforce, which was set up with 17 business and community leaders to help guide the city through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said it had been a tough year for many, but tourism, hospitality and arts industries had felt the worst of the pandemic.


"We realised we needed to look at ways to provide immediate support," she said.

Cr Nelmes said each project that was chosen would deliver direct economic benefit back into the city, retain jobs and maintain skills in industries that were vital to the city's recovery.

Dr Tamara Young from the University of Newcastle said the hometown holiday project aimed to encourage residents to enjoy a "staycation" and explore their own backyard when hosting friends and family in the city.

"It recognises the role residents play as tourism ambassadors and enhances their knowledge of Newcastle as a destination," she said.

She said the funding would subsidise experiences people buy through the program, such as restaurant discounts or cheaper accommodation, which would in turn support businesses and the local economy.

Field Frequency Matt Field said the grant funding would be used to help launch a new live music TV show that will be broadcast across social media.

The shows will be streamed onto between 10 and 12 social media accounts with strong audiences and will include both Newcastle artists as well as national acts with large followings, to help prop up the local performers.

He said musicians were experiencing some of the most difficult times in their careers and so the idea was created to provide an opportunity for artists to perform live, be paid and build momentum in their careers.

The funding will help cover production and marketing costs and provide payment to the artists.

All five projects will be delivered in the next six months.