Country show organisers across the Cootamundra electorate will be able to make plans with certainty, thanks to a NSW Government program providing financial support to ensure these much-loved community events come back bigger and better than ever.

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke urged local organisers to apply for funding available as part of the $5 million Country Shows Support Package for events being staged in 2022.

Ms Cooke said funding can be used for a range of reasons, including ensuring shows are COVID Safe, subsidising stall fees, equipment hire, upgrading show facilities or engaging locally-based artists or musicians.

“This is an exciting announcement for country shows. The towns and communities in the electorate are huge on shows, with 25 shows over a 12 month period, “Ms Cooke said.

“We have a strong agriculture tradition in our area and these shows have been hit quite hard over the past two years.

“It is really important for us to support these towns and show committees to get these shows back up and runing to ensure the future of our great agricultural shows.”

Funding of up to $15,000 will be available to small shows with an audience of less than 2,000 people across all event days, while medium and large shows can apply for up to $30,000 and $45,000 respectively.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the Country Shows Support Package would provide certainty to show organisers and give them the confidence to lock in suppliers, hire equipment and purchase goods.

“It’s been a tough few years for country shows, with drought, bushfires, storms, floods and COVID-19 disrupting plans, but as they say, the show must go on and these grants will help make that happen,” Mr Toole said.

“Country shows are the heartbeat of so many rural communities – they not only celebrate the best of the best in the community but allow visitors to experience the tastes, sights and sounds of the bush.

“It’s also a big win for competitors who have spent years perfecting events like wood-chopping, show jumping or baking, as they can now focus on earning the points needed to compete at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.”

The $5 million Country Shows Support Package is part of the NSW Government’s $200 million Regional Recovery Package, which will deliver long term support and certainty for the regions as the state reopens.

Applications are now open and close on Friday, 29 April 2022, or when funding is exhausted. For further information, including program guidelines and eligibility criteria, go to: www.nsw.gov.au/CountryShows.