Stronger Country Communities Fund

Adventure Playground, Tamworth - Salty Dingo

The Stronger Country Communities Fund is investing in infrastructure projects in regional NSW communities to improve the lives of residents and enhance the attractiveness of these areas as vibrant places to live and work.

The NSW Government has committed $200 million over the next two years to support local infrastructure projects that will improve amenity and help sustain the social bonds at the heart of strong regional communities.

We will support projects that involve:

  • building new community facilities (such as parks, playgrounds, walking and cycle pathways)
  • refurbishing existing local facilities (such as community centres and libraries)
  • enhancing local parks and the supporting facilities (such as kitchens and toilet blocks).

Local councils must consult with their communities to identify project proposals that meet community needs and aspirations. We will give priority to projects that provide local jobs and support local businesses.

Who can apply

The Stronger Country Communities Fund is available to all 92 NSW regional local government areas (outside Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong), Lord Howe Island and the Unincorporated Far West. State government agencies and non-government organisations can submit eligible community infrastructure projects, in partnership with local councils. However, the LGA must be the applicant and is responsible for submitting the application.

How to apply

Review the guidelines and liaise with your eligible local council. Local councils are responsible for consulting with the community, prioritising projects and submitting applications.

There are two steps to the application process:

  • Step 1: Council Registration — You’ll need to commence the registration form to receive a registration number. This registration number is needed in order to submit each project funding application (Step 2).

    You’ll also need to provide contact details, evidence of community consultation and prioritisation of submitted projects.

    We recommend submitting the Council Registration last, as you will need all of your Project Funding Application IDs, the total number of applications you are submitting and their priority order, before you can complete this section.
  • Step 2: Project funding application — You’ll need to complete a project application form for each project. To submit the application form, you’ll need to quote your registration number (Step 1) and provide a project plan, supplier quotes and a detailed project budget.

To apply, visit the NSW Regional Development SmartyGrants portal.

2017 key dates

There are three application tranches scheduled for 2017 in round one. Councils will be informed which tranche they have been allocated. Councils must apply in the tranche which they have been assigned. Download the SCCF tranches list to check which tranche a council has been assigned to.

The schedule is:

  • Tranche A applications open 7 July, close 9 August 2017
  • Tranche B applications open 16 August, close 13 September 2017
  • Tranche C applications open 20 September, close 18 October 2017

Webinar

This webinar ran on Friday 14 July 2017 to provide information around eligibility requirements, the assessment process, and the time frames in which a decision will be made and funding agreements entered into. There was also a question and answer session at the end of the presentation.

Frequently asked questions

Examples of suitable projects include:

  • building new community facilities (such as parks, playgrounds, walking and cycle pathways)
  • refurbishing existing local facilities (such as community centres and libraries)
  • enhancing local parks and the supporting facilities (such as kitchens and toilet blocks).

We will give priority to projects that provide local jobs and support local businesses.

Each rural and regional local government area will receive a base allocation with additional funding calculated in accordance with population size and a loading that accounts for variation in costs of construction across NSW. The Stronger Country Communities Fund is seeking projects of at least $100,000, but typically in the range of $250,000 to $1 million. Where there is a significant financial co-contribution, larger projects (above $1 million) will be considered.

No. Councils can apply for full funding but will need to contribute financially if their proposed project is a planned upgrade of existing infrastructure in a forward program of capital works project proposals or if the value of the project is above their allocated funding.

The Stronger Country Communities Fund is available to all 92 NSW regional local government areas (outside Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong), Lord Howe Island and the Unincorporated Far West. State government agencies and non-government organisations can submit eligible community infrastructure projects, in partnership with local councils. However, the LGA must be the applicant and is responsible for submitting the application.

Eligible councils are responsible for consulting with their communities and local MPs to identify projects that best meet the community’s needs and aspirations. Evidence of consultation activities and findings will need to be provided.

Yes, you can apply for one project or a suite of projects, as long as the total stays in the range of funding (minimum $100,000, generally between $250,000 to $1 million, or more than $1 million where there is a significant financial co-contribution).

Review the guidelines and liaise with your eligible local council. Local councils are responsible for consulting with the community, prioritising projects and submitting applications.

To apply, visit the NSW Regional Development SmartyGrants portal.

For 2017 (Round 1), local government areas have been allocated to tranche A, B or C. You can only apply in your assigned call for application. The schedule is:

  • Tranche A applications open 7 July, close 9 August 2017
  • Tranche B applications open 16 August, close 13 September 2017
  • Tranche C applications open 20 September, close 18 October 2017

Dates for 2018 (round two) are yet to be advised.

The NSW Government will assess the applications through a process that covers:

  • checking that projects are eligible and meet the program criteria
  • evaluating evidence of community consultation carried out by the applicants.