The biggest issue for us has been obtaining funding. The amount of time that I have personally spent doing funding submissions, and chasing funding»that has been our biggest challenge (Deborah Lowndes interview).

The Steering Committee submitted three separate project funding applications during 2010 to:

For the month preceding confirmation of funding there was a sense at Steering Committee meetings that the project was at a standstill. Properties had been sourced and three initial artist projects had been identified but the Committee was not willing to move forward without funding to cover employment of a part-time co-ordinator for the project and other running costs.

In November 2010 the project received the news it had been funded by Arts NSW for $15,000 and by Gosford City Council for $20,000. The funds will cover costs for a first year of the project, including employing a part-time project coordinator.

Gosford Council - as recommended by the Mayor and the Director of City Services - is providing an additional $5,000 for the development of a business model for the project.

According to Deborah Lowndes, the funding confirmation from Arts NSW preceded subsequent research - not yet publicly available - undertaken by Lois Randall for Arts NSW about the Central Coast region, which recommended increasing funding to this area of NSW.

The Steering Committee had kept in regular contact with Arts NSW throughout 2010, which Deborah Lowndes felt was quite important in achieving the positive funding outcome. Arts NSW's support was conditional upon the local government co-funding the initiative.

Deborah feels that some of the difficulties the Committee had in getting the project funded relate to it being about 'creative industry' development:

Does it fall under arts or does it fall under regional development? »I'm hitting three:

  • NSW Investment and Industry - to encourage business development and grow;
  • Gosford City Council - falling under their Masterplan and the revitalisation of Gosford City; and
  • Arts NSW - to foster the creative industries.