Building grants bring empty spaces to life

Building grants bring empty spaces to life

More than 60 non-profit organisations have turned empty properties into spaces for artist cooperatives, education programs and childcare services through the City of Sydney’s accommodation grants program.

The grants program lets non-profits set up shop in City-owned buildings at reduced or no rates.

The last review rated 90 per cent of organisations using the spaces as having met or exceeded their performance criteria. Their contracts have now been extended until 2016.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City would continue supporting these important groups because they made a difference to peoples’ lives.

“These grants help make our city more liveable, inclusive and creative,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Opening up this underused real estate gives community groups space they couldn’t otherwise afford.”

The program is one of the City’s 19 grants and sponsorships programs and is worth more than $2.6 million each year in foregone revenue.

The program has proved so popular that more than 175 organisations are on the waiting list.

Current recipients of accommodation grants include:

  • 107 Projects – an artist cooperative run by a group of successful local fringe art galleries that use the space for film nights, poetry readings, performances, artist studios, rehearsals and workshops;
  • Beehive Industries – a group that offers support, companionship and other essential services to elderly people and members of the local community living with a disability;
  • Regenesis – an innovative education program in Millers Point which targets local disadvantaged and at-risk youth, in partnership with the City of Sydney’s Youth Services unit;
  • PRIDE History Group – a community history group committed to preserving and sharing the stories of Australia’s gay and lesbian communities through books, talks and exhibitions;
  • SDN Children’s Services – an early childhood education and family support service that operates three centres across the City of Sydney Local Government Area; and
  • Wrap with Love – a volunteer knitting collective that has donated more than 300,000 wraps to people suffering from extreme cold in over 20 countries.

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For more information, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Keeley Irvin.
Phone 0448 005 718 or email