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Ride High Country Fund Round Two

Tourism is one of five essential ‘super-growth sectors, driving jobs and growth in regional economies over the next decade. In the year ending March 2019, Victoria’s High Country received over 3.6 million visitors, spending over $1.3 billion. Visitor numbers are forecast to increase to 5.2 million visitors by 2025.

Overview

Cyclists riding past a vineyard

Located three hours North East of Melbourne, Victoria’s High Country is fast becoming Australia’s premier cycle tourism destination. Boasting over 300kms of Rail Trails, 10 Mountain Bike parks, endless Gravel backroads, and a superb Road Cycling network, including the 7 Peaks road climbs. The quality and extent of its cycling opportunities are unmatched and attract more cycle tourism visitation and yield than any other Australian region.

The region currently receives 103,000 cycle tourists per year, spending $50 million in the region – more than any other regional destination in Australia. Cycle tourism visitor growth is forecast to continue, with the conservative scenario projecting 255,000 visitors participating in cycling in Victoria’s High Country by 2025.

Objectives of Program

The Victorian Government has recently invested $12 million towards a ten-year plan to help build on the region’s cycling strengths and make it the premier cycling tourism destination in Australia.


Funding Details

The Victorian Government is receiving applications for the Ride High Country Fund Round Two (RHCFR2).  Applications should demonstrate the relationship to the following four categories:

Projects/activities that will be considered

  • Accommodation*: Experiential accommodation, eco-pods, bike hotels, contemporary backpackers’ accommodation, extensive integrated resort facilities and hotels.
  • Bike Hubs and services: Expansion of existing businesses or creating new businesses to enhance the cycle tourism experience and create an active precinct where cyclists gather.
  • Food and beverage operators: New or expanded food and beverage offerings that are cyclist-friendly and located at strategic sites to enhance the cycle visitor experience, e.g. along rail trails, at trailheads or bike hubs.
  • Tour operators: Bike hire and bike shuttle companies that enhance the cycle visitor experience through improving existing and/or providing new cycling-related services; and tour operators with a focus on increasing interstate and international visitation through partnerships with local businesses.

Projects must be 'shovel ready'. If supported, projects must be ready to begin within six months of a signed grant agreement.

* Accommodation projects that add increased bed numbers to the region will have preference over projects that are refurbishment of existing room stock.

Financial viability of proponent

Applicants must provide copies of annual reports and audited financial statements covering the last three years with their application to enable Regional Development Victoria (RDV) to assess their financial viability and ability to manage and complete the project.

Only projects that can demonstrate an active link to cycle tourism by providing services that address a current gap in cycle visitor needs will be considered.

Program applicants must demonstrate how their project will provide social, environmental and economic benefit to the region, particularly increased visitation and job creation.

Location

Projects# must be located within the following Local Government areas or Alpine Resorts area and close to cycling tracks and/or trails.

  • Wodonga
  • Wangaratta
  • Indigo
  • Alpine
  • Mansfield
  • Murrindindi
  • Towong
  • Benalla
  • Mt Buller, Falls Creek, or Mt Hotham.

#Projects that fall outside these boundaries may be considered providing they are necessary to complete a high priority cycle visitor experience.

Trusts

If the trustee is a company, it must have an ACN issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

If a Trustee receives a Grant, they must complete a Trustee Declaration form.

If the department is to contract with a company or person in their capacity as trustee, the applicant will need to provide written confirmation from the company’s/person’s solicitor or accountant that the company/person is:

  • authorised to enter into the contract with the department, and acting within their powers under the trust deed; and
  • can be indemnified from the assets of the trust.

Application Process

Step 1

Read the application guidelines carefully

Step 2

Discuss your proposed application with the RDV Hume team

Step 3

Prepare an application which includes a clear and succinct description of the project

Download Resources

Resource Download
Prospectus: Cycle Tourism Investment Opportunities in Victoria’s High Country (29.2 MB ) Download
Ride High Country Fund Round Two - Guidelines (512.7 KB ) Download
Ride High Country Fund Round Two - Guidelines (153.3 KB ) Download

Managed by Regional Development Victoria, the application will proceed to the Ride High Country Fund Round Two (RHCFR2) Assessment Committee (RHCAC) for assessment prior to consideration by the Minister for Regional Development.

Applications close at 5:00pm on 10 June 2021.

For more information, please email information.wodonga@rdv.vic.gov.au

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