Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke MP today announced Cootamundra has successfully secured $124,124 in funding as part of the first round of the NSW Government’s $100m Regional Cultural Fund (RCF).

The Arts Centre will receive $60,000 to invest in staff and volunteers and The Wired Lab was successful in a $64,124 grant to create a mobile outdoor cinema for the Eastern Riverina and South West Slopes districts.

Ms Cooke said the projects would build upon the rich arts culture in Cootamundra to help take it to the next level.

“The Regional Cultural Fund is all about supporting projects – whether they be big or small – that will enhance the cultural richness and vibrancy of our regional communities,” she said.

“The Wired Labs outdoor cinema will bring screen culture to viewers in a new and exciting format, and I’m excited to see the Arts Centre grow even further in their contribution to arts in the community.

“This has been a great win for Cootamundra and beyond.”

The Wired Lab CEO Sarah Last said she hopes the cinema may be operational by the end of 2018.

“This funding will build our organisational capacity through the provision of a high quality mobile outdoor cinema with a PA which will be available for hire throughout the region. The funds will also address storage needs for our growing organisation,” Ms Last said.

The Arts Centre will receive $60,000 for the TACC Fulcrum Project.

“Since 2004 a tireless band of passionate volunteers has built The Arts Centre Cootamundra (TACC) into a vital community hub. The facility includes a theatre for performance, dance & film, visual arts studio, rehearsal space, exhibition space and Artist in residence suite,” Cultural Development Officer Elise Magrath said.

“TACC Fulcrum Project will enable the organisation to deliver more activities to the community by investing in its people – volunteers, governance and business plan to really activate this key community asset, allowing the centre to grow the number and diversity of ways that the Cootamundra-Gundagai community can use the Centre.

“The committee, staff and volunteers of TACC thank Steph Cooke for her ongoing support of TACC and also thank the NSW Government for their strategic investment in our region,” she added.

The projects are two of sixty-eight projects from 12 regions across NSW, sharing in close to $50m in the first round of Regional Cultural Fund grants.

Applications are now open for round two, with $47 million up for grabs in the second round, closing September 21.

The $100 million Regional Cultural Fund is part of the NSW Government’s $1.3 billion Regional Growth Fund which aims to improve not only the economic outcomes but the standard of living and wellbeing of people who call regional NSW home.

Further information about the RCF is available at www.nsw.gov.au/regionalculturalfund or email regional@arts.nsw.gov.au