20 June 2022

Local Economic Development News

It's been a little while since my last newsletter, so this one is a longer read so grab a cup of tea/coffee!

For those who aren't aware, the following areas are delivered by Council's Economic Development Team:
  • Delivery of the Glen Innes Highlands Economic Development Strategy 2040 and Action Plan 2020-2025;
  • Delivery of the Glen Innes Highlands Destination Management Plan;
  • Planning, funding and delivery of the Glen Innes Highlands Marketing Program encouraging people to VISIT, LIVE and INVEST in Glen Innes Highlands;
  • Manage the Glen Innes Visitor Information Centre, funding and producing all of the Glen Innes Highlands branded brochures and merchandise, stocking products from local businesses and promoting those in our online shop;
  • Grants and funding for Council and providing the monthly bid blast on grants and funding opportunities;
  • Highlands Hub co-working space and online platform for whole-of-community to CONNECT, CREATE, INNOVATE and GROW
  • Special projects, including the Glen Innes Skywalk, Powerhouse Museum, Highlands Hub, Grow Glen Innes Think Tanks, and more.
Until next time,

Margot Davis
Manager Economic Development
On Wednesday 8 June, a Grow Glen Innes Think Tank was conducted in partnership with Meaghan Burkett of Ethical Fields to introduce the concept and potential of Community Wealth Building (CWB). 

So what is it?
An economic and community development model to build a vibrant, confident and inclusive community supported by a sustainable and prosperous economy, and the tools to enable you to do it.

What does it aim to do?
1. Make financial power work for local places
2. Create an inclusive economy
3. Create regenerative industries
4. Strengthen regions, towns, and local community

The Glen Innes CWB Scan is ready to go. Please complete the scan to help us unlock CWB opportunities in our town.
ACTION: Complete the Glen Innes Community Wealth Building Scan
The Glen Innes Powerhouse Museum would involve the retention, remediation and repurposing of an iconic architectural structure and power-generating machinery – the now defunct Glen Innes Power Station in Church Street (a site owned by Essential Energy) – into a state-of-the-art, multi-disciplinary, community-accessible, heritage and cultural destination.

The Powerhouse Museum Expression of Interest to purchase or lease the Essential Energy building was submitted by the deadline of 12 May 2022. Council awaits an outcome of our submission to move this project forward.
The design, production and delivery of the Skywalk Geotourism visitor experience has been procured to deliver hyperlocal mapping technology with audio and Augmented Reality (AR). 

A partnership with Naveze, Production Group and Cutting-Edge industry innovators and leaders will deliver 22 audio stories and 360-degree drone footage with AR integrated into a hyper-local mapping platform.
Thanks to the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grant Program, the next stage of the Centennial Parklands Master Concept plan will be built.  

A new amenities block with an outdoor event space will rejuvenate the area next to Crofters Cottage for locals and visitors to utilise and improve the experience at the Australian Celtic Festival.
The HUB fit out is in full swing and we're aiming for a September 2022 opening. 

In the mean time, we need your help!  We want to make sure we offer programs and courses YOU are wanting so we need your feedback.

Help us help the community and take a few minutes to complete this survey so our community can continue to connect, create, innovate and grow!
ACTION: Let us know what training and development you need.
The Highlands Hub Digital Platform is now live!

We've added COMMUNITY and CAREERS alongside BUSINESS so the whole community can use the platform to connect.

It's really easy to register so you can start sharing and collaborating online!
ACTION: Everyone can now REGISTER on Highlands Hub
Council have proposed to the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund (BLER) that the New England Rail Trail (NERT) funding deed and activity schedule be adjusted to enable Public Works Advisory (PWA) to commence prior to the next key activities of the Act of Parliament and the Construction licencing agreement with Transport for NSW (TfNSW).
ACTION: Follow the NERT facebook page and complete the survey

Housing Assessment & Future Housing Strategy

The Glen Innes Housing Assessment and Affordable Housing Strategy is going to Council's June Ordinary Council Meeting for endorsement to go on public exhibition.

Housing is fundamental to the future growth and well-being of the Glen Innes LGA community. This strategy identifies a series of ways in which Glen Innes Severn Council (GISC) can work with State Government, the private sector, community housing providers and local industry to improve the quality and supply of local housing in the future.

The strategy is based on an assessment of current land supply, development, and construction activity, as well as engagement with housing providers and community groups. This assessment identified that land, housing, and residential construction shortages are likely to be constraining the potential growth of Glen Innes LGA.

To access the Council Report and the Strategic documents, go to: Glen Innes Severn Council Ordinary Meetings | Glen Innes Severn Council (nsw.gov.au) on Monday 20 when the business paper is released for the June Ordinary Council meeting.

This strategy will form part of the next Grow Glen Innes Think Tank.

Workforce Attraction & Retention Strategy

This report, funded under the Building Better Regions Fund and undertaken by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI), was motivated by Council’s desire to examine the LGA's workforce challenges and understand the future of jobs in the region.

The report seeks to develop a workforce attraction and retention strategy for the Glen Innes Severn Local Government Area (LGA), as envisaged under the Glen Innes Highlands Economic Development Strategy 2020-2040 and its Action Plan 2020-2025.

The strategy has a vision to "increase the skilled workforce of Glen Innes Severn LGA to meet current and future employment needs."  This can be achieved in partnership with Council, community and industry to deliver against the four key focus areas of:

1. Developing a Regional Learning System
2. Strengthening the Business Community
3. Targeted Attraction
4. Strengthening Liveability

To access the report please email: [email protected]

This strategy will form part of the next Grow Glen Innes Think Tank.

ACTION: Register to join the Grow Glen Innes Think Tank

The Next Grow Glen Innes Think Tank Topic: Liveability

We now have the majority of research and strategic development completed in order to wrap it all together and complete a full Liveability Assessment based on the Regional Australia Institute's Toolkit.  

To participate, register below so you receive the invitation for the next workshop, which will most likely be held in July/August.
ACTION: Register to join the Grow Glen Innes Think Tank

Attract, Connect, Stay - Glen Innes

Attract Connect Stay - Glen Innes Chairperson Sheryn Nourse welcomed Dr Della Yarnold to the East Avenue Medical Centre and was happy to have provided assistance and support to this important appointment, through the work of the steering committee.  Now it's time to appoint the Healthcare Workforce Recruiter Connector. 

ACTION: Find out more - Healthcare Workforce Recruiter Connector Position

What's the Opportunity?

Geotourism is increasingly seen globally as an instrument of regional economic development, holistic in scope, booming globally, and a key driver for tourism, particularly in Europe and Asia. It comprises the following features of both natural and cultural heritage: Abiotic, Biotic, and Cultural.  


THRIVE 2030 Strategy

Our submissions during the draft THRIVE 2030 consultation have been rewarded and Glen Innes is specifically mentioned as an aspiring Georegion in the final strategy. This is great PR for the town on a national scale without any financial investment.
Angus Robinson and the National Geotourism Strategy working groups are delighted, as this is the first publication/plan that Geotourism has been included in since their strategy was released last April.

Our Destination Management Plan was the first in Australia to include this emerging framework. 

THRIVE 2030 Strategy

New England North West 2041 Plan

The draft New England North West 2041 Plan was on public exhibition from 22 November 2021 to 18 February 2022.

The plan is undergoing its first five-yearly review to reset its priorities and extend the plan’s reach to 2041.

A submission was lodged to encourage the NSW Department of Planning and Industry to do more for our area and not lean so heavily on the Renewable Energy Zone. Our submission reinforced the opportunity that Geotourism offers Glen Innes and the New England North West Region.  

New England North West 2041

Applications Now Open to Fund Local Projects

Are you a local business or community group with a project that will support positive socio-economic outcomes for Glen Innes Highlands? Applications are now open for Council's 2022-2023 Local Economic Development Support Fund and we're encouraging you to apply for funding to support your project. Applications close: 5pm, 31 July 2022.

The Latest Grants and Funding Opportunities

This month's Grants & Funding Opportunities Newsletter provides information on a selection of Business, Community, Infrastructure and COVID-19 funding and support opportunities currently available.

Read the latest newsletter here


Survey: Regional Economic Development Strategies

The Department of Regional NSW (DRNSW) is currently developing updates for the Regional Economic Development Strategies (REDS). The REDS are important strategic documents that help guide local economic development priorities in each community across Regional NSW.
As part of this project, a business survey is being conducted to better understand key trends and sentiments impacting the business community across Regional NSW. The survey also seeks input from the business community about key priorities for supporting job creation and economic growth.
The short 15-minute survey will remain open until 30 June 2022.
ACTION: Complete the Business Survey

Agritourism Changes Survey

The NSW Government is proposing changes aimed at reducing red tape for farmers wishing to diversify their business with small-scale agritourism activities such as tastings, accommodation, and function facilities. NSW Farmers is working with NSW Department of Planning and Environment to clarify what the changes will mean for farmers, including potential impacts on existing operations like “pick your own” activities.

ACTION: Complete the Agritourism Changes Survey

Marketing Campaign Update

The Glen Innes Highlands digital marketing campaign, managed by Nucleo, continues to deliver reach and engagement results above industry benchmarks with optimisations to ad creative and target audiences made monthly.

We're also advertising with Granite Belt Magazine to capture travellers around South East Queensland (one of our top target markets). This magazine is released quarterly with 13,000 copies distributed across more than 150 locations, per edition. View the latest issue featuring Glen Innes Highlands - Winter.

Glen Innes Highlands (GIH) Brand Update

The brand, its positioning and how it represents the community is on an ever evolving journey. There have been many projects, marketing campaigns and strategies delivered for GIH since the latest brand guide was produced in 2018, including the GIH Website, Visit, Live & Invest Digital Campaigns, Economic Development Strategy and the Destination Management Plan. So it's time to review the guidelines and reflect where we are now and where we could go. KEO were successfully appointed in May to deliver the project. Stay tuned for updates and opportunities for community input.

Leverage Our Local Brand - Glen Innes Highlands

1.    Local operators can list your business/events on ATDW to appear on the Glen Innes Highlands (GIH) Website. It's free to create a listing!
2.    Tag @gleninneshighland and include #gleninneshighlands in your Instagram posts that promote what our visitors can experience in our area. The GIH social media strategy includes regularly sharing user generated content that we know our audience will love and connect with. This does not guarantee a share, but your business will appear when people search #gleninneshighlands. 
3.    Share GIH content with your audience. Leverage our campaign videos, stories and social media posts to connect with your audience and showcase all the great things they can experience in GIH. YouTube | Facebook | Instagram
3.    If you'd like to use the Glen Innes Highlands Logo, please complete the GIH Logo Usage Form.

From time to time, Glen Innes Severn Council's Marketing Assistant may reach out to local tourism operators in Glen Innes Highlands for marketing opportunities across the Glen Innes Highlands Brand.

We've Partnered with Australian Traveller

The New England High Country tourism group has partnered with Australian Traveller to promote our region nationally across their print and digital channels. Check out the latest campaign details below.

Australia Now

(Nov 21 - Jan 22, Issue 92)
10 Best Ways to Get a Natural High in New England High Country, featuring fossicking in Glen Innes Highlands and motoring along Old Glen Innes Road. This content was used in March for a 'mini' social media campaign (NEHC Facebook and Instagram) generating great engagement with our audience. Local tourism operators are encouraged to share these posts promoting Glen Innes Highlands. 
View the online article.

100 Amazing Road Trips

(May 22 -  Jul 22, Issue 94)
New England High Country, where all the great road trips lead... This campaign features the top rides for two-wheel travellers in New England High Country, but not excluding all other types of travellers! New England Hwy and Gwydir Hwy feature Glen Innes. View the online article. We'll also be using this content across our social media so please follow and share!

Leverage our Regional Brand - New England High Country

1.    List your business/events on ATDW to appear on the New England High Country (NEHC) Website. It's free to create a listing!
2.    Tag @nehighcountry and include #newenglandhighcountry in your Instagram posts that promote what our visitors can experience in our region. The NEHC social media strategy includes regularly sharing user generated content that we know our audience will love and connect with. This does not guarantee a share, but your business will appear when people search #newenglandhighcountry. 
3.    Share NEHC content with your audience. Leverage our campaign videos, stories and social media posts to connect with your audience and showcase all the great things they can experience in NEHC. YouTube | Facebook | Instagram

From time to time, Glen Innes Severn Council's Marketing Assistant may reach out to local tourism operators in Glen Innes Highlands for marketing opportunities across the New England High Country Brand.

Australian Celtic Festival

Council, with the support of our valued volunteers, sponsors and community, delivered a successful, accelerated festival, welcoming over 4,500 visitors to our region. The Festival welcomed a full program of events, with the addition of headline act John Williamson on Saturday night, additional marquees and seating, and free bus transport.

We have released surveys to gain crucial insights and feedback as we plan for the year of Scotland: 4-7 May 2023. The surveys are anonymous and will assist us to improve the event experience and provide insight for future funding applications. Please complete the survey's here: 
Visitor Survey | Local Business Survey


Council supported the Minerama 355 Committee of Council for another successful Minerama Fossicking, Gem and Jewellery Show held at the Glen Innes Showgrounds on the 11,12 and 13 March 2022. The Minerama 2022 marketing campaign was developed and delivered by Council's Marketing Assistant, across Minerama and Glen Innes Highlands owned channels and paid channels including radio, print, paid social media and signage.

Council successfully received funding for our application under the 2022 Flagship Events stream to evolve the event brand, develop and deliver EDM and Social media strategy and capture photo and video content for Minerama 2023.

Gravel Grinding - Goodness Gravel

The Council supported goodnessgravel Glen Innes bike event was successfully held on Saturday, 9 April 2022 and Sunday, 10 April 2022, attracting 140 riders, support people and their families who stayed at least two (2) nights. 

Based on 420 people staying two (2) nights the total estimated direct expenditure for the weekend was $99,120. The organisers, twowheeltours, have requested Council to continue their support of the event for Saturday, 15 April 2023 and Sunday, 16 April 2023.

Bouldering at Stonehenge Recreational Reserve

A fantastic turnout and perfect day for Bouldering at the Stonehenge Recreational Reserve over the weekend.  The New England Bouldering Group organised the event and are keen to make it an annual event in Glen Innes.

We had a photographer shoot the event and we'll be adding it to the Glen Innes Highlands website as another string to our bow in nature-based adventure activities. 

Interested in bouldering - find out more here

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