Stronger Associations Program

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The Economic Development unit collaborates with a number of business, trader and tourism associations in the Shire including but not limited to StawellBiz, St Arnaud Community Action Network, Halls Gap Tourism, East Grampians Tourism Association, Grampians Winemakers and Grampians Produce Group

Council has recently formalised the Stronger Associations Funding Program (SAFP) by way of adopting the Stronger Associations Policy to ensure provision of funding to business, trader and tourism associations is:

  • equitable and transparent;
  • aligned with the 2017-2021 Council Plan objectives and deliverables; and
  • aligned with regional priorities.

In order to achieve this, the SAFP will support business, trader and tourism associations to:

  • encourage their membership base to undertake initiatives to expand, diversify or ensure economic sustainability
  • contribute to or facilitate sector and/or regional specific economic growth initiatives in the Northern Grampians Shire

  • assist their membership base to build business management capacity

  • undertake projects which capitalise on opportunities and address identified challenges specific to the Northern Grampians Shire.

The Stronger Associations Funding Program is a competitive grants process which opens annually in May.  Applications are determined by a panel in June and funding is awarded in July.

All applicants to the SAFP will:

  • Be a business, trader or tourism association operating in or working with businesses or tourism operators in the Northern Grampians Shire
  • Be a registered incorporated association
  • Attend a pre-application meeting with Council officers to discuss the project that association would like funded;
  • Submit an application form;Propose projects which align with the SAFP Framework
  • Demonstrate the ability to match funding on a 1:4 ratio
  • Demonstrate their readiness and capacity to deliver the proposed project
  • Work collaboratively with Council.

We strongly encourage potential applicants to read the guidelines document before considering making an application online below and contacting the Economic Development unit at or phone (03) 5358 8700.

Stronger associations funding program application form >>