Following the success of the Creating Spaces conference in Newcastle, the Federal Government has (for the first time) committed funding to support local communities to Renew their empty shops and offices. Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the Federal government will provide $100,000 a year in funding over the next three years to Renew Australia to support its work in community development and creative projects.
Federal funding will support Renew Australia’s growth and expansion into regional and remote centres and into the suburbs of major cities. This funding will assist Renew Australia to provide practical support including legal advice, insurance and advocacy to interested individuals and groups.
The challenge to date has not been in getting interest but in sustaining it and supporting it. This is currently an unfunded social enterprise that relies on local communities to pay Renew to help them. As this isn’t always viable we’re working on strategies to build local teams on the ground in major cities and working with all sides of politics and all levels of government to invest in Renew schemes locally, state-wide or nationally and this funding is the first step in doing that.