The City of Melbourne will deliver $1.85 million through the City Activation Grants program to bring events and visitation back to the city.

The grants will be funded through the $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund – a collaboration between the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government – and will be considered by councillors at a Future Melbourne Committee meeting.

The grants will provide funding of up to $50,000 for initiatives that drive visitation to areas of the city severely impacted by COVID-19.  

Additionally, under the $100,000 Business Event Support program, grants of up to $10,000, as well as in-kind support, are available for conferences, exhibitions and networking events. 

Applicants will need to demonstrate their commitment to deliver COVID-safe events to entice professionals back to the CBD. 

Applications for the Business Events Support program will open on Monday 18 October. If endorsed, the City Activation Grants program will open on the same date. 

Melbourne Lord Mayor, Sally Capp, said, “We will support bold ideas from businesses, interest groups and local enthusiasts to activate city neighbourhoods – from the vibrant Greek culture and mouth-watering gyros on Lonsdale Street to the laidback vibes in North Melbourne.

“Business events are another critical part of our economy. Prior to the pandemic, around 14 million entrepreneurs, executives and future leaders descended on Melbourne each year, so I encourage all business event organisers to apply for a grant.”

Business and Global Opportunities Portfolio Lead, Councillor Kevin Louey, said, “There are a thousand different ways you could bring visitors back to your area with a creative idea and up to $50,000.

“From a series of live music performances to walking tours or temporary art installations, businesses and community members will know how to best enhance the atmosphere in their precincts. Please come to us with your brilliant proposals to get your area buzzing again.”

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