On the Grapevine with Jo Thomas: week commencing March 20

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR REGIONAL EVENTS

Organisers of new and emerging rural and regional events held between July and December this year are being urged to apply for the NSW Government’s 2017 Incubator Event Fund, with round two applications now open.

The Incubator Event Fund offers one-off grants of up to $20,000 to event organisers who are staging an event for the first or second time.

Regional events are a wonderful celebration of community culture, run by locals and a fantastic opportunity to showcase local wine and food producers, artists, craftspeople, and musicians.

The Incubator Event Fund provides seed funding to innovative new events to help them through their initial establishment phase and assists with elements such as event staging costs, marketing, publicity and research and is focused on getting more events into rural and regional NSW, and increasing overnight visitation and expenditure.

This is a fantastic opportunity for Hunter Valley operators and event organisers who are considering a new event or have already staged an event and need assistance to take it to the next level.

Administered by Destination NSW, applications for round two of the 2017 Incubator Event Fund are open until April 2. To lodge an application and to view the criteria, visit destinationnsw.com.au/rfep.

UBER ARRIVES IN THE HUNTER VALLEY

Tourists arriving in the Hunter Valley will now be able to open the Uber app and order a car when the ride-sharing service expands into our region.

Uber, which has about 58,000 drivers nationally, will start services in Wollongong, Townsville and the Hunter Valley as well as Cairns on March 16, adding to its existing regional services in Newcastle, Byron Bay, Geelong, Toowoomba, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.

The ride-share group has targeted expansion in NSW and Queensland because it is more affordable for drivers to comply with state regulations.

Jo Thomas is the general manager of the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association

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