Popular arts and cultural event ArtWalk has received a funding injection as the state government supports regional tourism.
ArtWalk, which will benefit from a $20,000 boost, is one of five local events to share in the NSW government's $1 million 2020 Regional Event Fund.
The NSW government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, will provide funding to 59 event organisers across the state to deliver events which will attract visitors and drive economic activity for businesses.
In the Port Macquarie electorate, $10,000 was awarded for the River Festival in the Camden Haven and $20,000 each has gone to stage ArtWalk, the Hello Koalas Festival and Treasure Hunt and the Elephant Trail Race.
MotoFest Wauchope, which received $10,000, was among the successful recipients in the Oxley electorate.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council group manager Liesa Davies said the funding for ArtWalk and other local events would assist organisers in attracting more visitors and help drive economic activity across the region.
"This is a fabulous outcome for key events like ArtWalk, the Elephant Trail Race, and the Hello Koala Festival and Treasure Hunt," Ms Davies said.
"The micro events Motofest Wauchope and the North Haven River Festival have also received a financial boost, truly putting our region on the must-visit list during the coming year."
The funding from Destination NSW is the second financial injection for ArtWalk, following a $25,000 grant from the federal government announced in June.
The ArtWalk main event in 2020, due to COVID-19 restrictions, will be a showcase aimed to create the longest footpath art gallery in the Port Macquarie, Wauchope and Laurieton town centres from October 1 to 8.
Artists, creatives, businesses, schools, performers, musicians, venues and volunteers are being encouraged to get involved with further information and registration forms available on the council's website.
The cultural celebration will also feature artist markets, satellite events, a Glasshouse window banner gallery and volunteer opportunities.
Ms Davies said the funding would help bring our regional events back to life, creating jobs for locals and reinvesting funds into our own community.
"Events like ArtWalk play a major role in showcasing the depth of talent we have in our local arts and culture industry and is another great reason to visit the Port Macquarie-Hastings region," she said.
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams said the support for these events would be critical to reawakening the local tourism industry following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is fantastic news for small businesses across our area," she said.
"These events bring in visitors who stay locally and spend locally, plus events employ local residents and are important to the social and cultural fabric of the area.
"It has been incredibly tough for residents and businesses in recent months, so this NSW government support is most welcome and will play a significant part in getting the Hastings back on track to be the vibrant community it's known to be."
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