Parramatta boosts nightlife and heritage with record community grants

By Our Reporter
RLSS program funded by CoP comm grants

The City of Parramatta is gearing up for a vibrant transformation with the announcement of its largest ever Annual Community Grants Program. The council has ramped up funding to $725,000 for 2024-25, with a special focus on energising the city’s nighttime economy and drawing visitors to its historic sites.

A significant $100,000 of the total grants will be dedicated to projects that enhance the nightlife and create new experiences at heritage locations. Grants of up to $10,000 will be available for these initiatives, fostering a dynamic blend of cultural and historical engagement.

Lord Mayor Cr Pierre Esber emphasised the importance of these grants in supporting the city’s diverse community organisations, volunteer groups, sporting clubs, social enterprises, creatives, and heritage groups. He highlighted the wide-ranging opportunities the grants provide, benefiting everyone from young aspiring athletes and artists to older residents involved in volunteer work and innovative projects.

This year’s increase in funding comes at a crucial time, with rising living costs posing challenges for many. An additional $150,000 has been allocated to ensure that those striving to make a difference have the resources they need.

One notable beneficiary of the grants program is the Royal Life Saving Society, which received $9,000 for a Water Safety Education program aimed at children aged 3-12. The initiative has already reached over 500 families, offering essential water safety knowledge and eliminating financial barriers to participation.

Louise Smalley, Health Promotion Manager at the Royal Life Saving Society, expressed gratitude for the council’s support. She noted the significance of the partnership in addressing the overrepresentation of Western Sydney residents in drowning statistics and promoting community-wide water safety.

The positive impact of the program was echoed by Lisa Critoph, the society’s education coordinator, who praised the inclusivity achieved by providing free access to the program for vulnerable families.

Since its inception in 2007, Parramatta’s Annual Community Grants Program has distributed over $9 million to various community and cultural initiatives. This year’s program will be split into two rounds: the Community round (July-December 2024) and the Cultural round (January-June 2025). Applications for the Community round will open on 1 July 2024, with the Cultural round applications starting early in 2025.

Parramatta’s commitment to fostering a vibrant community through these grants underscores its dedication to enhancing the city’s cultural and social fabric, ensuring a thriving and inclusive environment for all its residents.

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