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Innovation Fund

Innovation Fund

Councils in rural and regional areas of NSW face unique challenges in sustaining their communities and maintaining local services.

The NSW Government is providing up to $4 million in Innovation grants to help rural councils with populations of less than 10,000 explore new ways of working. The Innovation Fund is a targeted program that supports small councils in regional NSW to develop new ideas and innovative ways of working to improve their performance to benefit their communities.

The Innovation Fund is being offered over two rounds, with $2 million available each round.


Round 1

Round 1 has been completed with 13 projects funded to promote innovation across 19 communities. The projects funded under this round varied in focus from developing and implementing more efficient processes to sharing resources with other councils to using technology to help overcome the challenge of distance.

There was considerable interest in Round One and applications were very competitive. A list of funded projects is available here.


Round 2

The NSW Government is pleased to make available a further $2 million in funding through Round 2 of the Innovation Fund.

Regional councils who have communities of less than 10,000 people are encouraged to apply for one-off grants to develop new solutions for their communities to help address the unique issues and challenges they face.

Applications for Innovation Fund (Round Two) have now closed.


How to Apply

Councils are encouraged to read the Innovation Fund Guidelines (Round Two) before applying. The Guidelines provide details about who can apply for funding, the types of projects that may receive a grant, how to apply for a grant and how applications will be assessed.

Applications have now closed.

A Funding Application Guide has also been developed to assist councils to apply for a grant under the Innovation Fund (Round Two). The Guide includes:

  • information about the concept of innovation and the process for developing and implementing ideas
  • guidance on the development of proposals and writing applications for grant funding, and
  • tips for completing an application and a list of all the questions contained within the online form.

Further assistance is available by contacting an Office of Local Government (OLG) Relationship Manager.

Alternatively, email One Stop Shop at or call OLG on 02 4428 4100 and ask to speak to the relevant Relationship Manager.



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