• Your Hunter Valley Magazine

Council implements program to grow visitor economy

In an effort to increase the number of people visiting the Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA) midweek, Cessnock City Council will soon launch its Visitor Economy Grants and Sponsorship Program (the Program).


Visitor data shows Monday to Thursday visitation is about 40% less than at weekends. The grants program aims to grow the visitor economy in areas where opportunities exist and maximum benefits are achieved. This will be done by supporting projects and events that increase mid-week visitation, length of stay, and grow jobs in the Cessnock LGA.

Council endorsed the creation of the grants program, adopted program guidelines, and allocated an annual budget of $50,000 at its May 2022 meeting.

The grants program is open to organisations and businesses with good ideas. Applications for the first round of the program can be made from 1-31 August 2022, and Council will accept applications for amounts between $5000 and $25,000.

The visitor economy within the Cessnock LGA generates significant economic output for the region, with accommodation and food services being the region’s highest employing sector.

Cessnock City Council Mayor Jay Suvaal said attracting just 10% more midweek visitors will result in 35,000 additional annual visitors to the Cessnock LGA, $15 million in additional output and 103 new jobs.

“Creating local jobs and boosting the local economy are two of my top priorities as Mayor and I am looking forward to seeing what this program can achieve,” Mayor Suvaal said.

“I encourage anyone who has a great project or event idea that will increase visitation to complete the online application form on Council’s website.”

For more information, including how to make an application, visit www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au/Grants.