Investment Fast-Track Fund
The $10 million Investment Fast-Track Fund will support regional and rural projects to strengthen their investment evidence base by funding activities that support planning and preparation, thereby fast-track projects to investment ready stage.
Part of the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, the Investment Fast-Track Fund (IFF) will focus on funding activities that will mobilise strategic investment projects through fast-track of business case development and planning for medium to longer term projects in regions, and increase the pipeline of investment ready projects, with a focus on leveraging private investment, boosting employment and improving the liveability of rural and regional Victoria.
Previously referred to as the Accelerating Readiness Fund, the IFF provides Victorian Government financial assistance for activities that will fast-track achievement of an evidence base for their project in order to support and confirm investment readiness.
Funded activities will be considered on the basis of the resultant project’s strategic importance for rural and regional communities including driving economic growth and prosperity for Victoria.
Objectives of Program
The objectives of the fund are to fund activities that will:
- ensure that high quality prospective projects that will be effective at driving regional recovery and economic diversification, are supported to a position of investment readiness and implementation
- support acceleration and development of business cases and planning for projects of strategic importance to develop a robust pipeline of investment-ready opportunities over the medium term
- progress development work on medium-longer term transformational projects that will fundamentally underpin long-term recovery and resilience
- support Aboriginal businesses to establish, grow and meet Aboriginal Victorians’ needs, priorities, and aspirations.
The IFF is a Contestable fund with applications received throughout the 2020-21 and 2021-22 financial years, or unless the funds are exhausted prior.
The program opened on Thursday 27 May 2021 and funded activities must be completed by 30 June 2022.
The funding ratio for the IFF contribution is capped at RDV $4 : $1 Other.
Funding available is capped at $500,000 per activity, however applications will be accepted for larger funding requests and will be considered on a case-by-case basis taking into account the level of strategic importance of the resultant project for rural and regional communities in driving economic growth and prosperity.
Applications that have high applicant contributions would be considered more favourably.
While joint investment with other Victorian Government program funding is encouraged, co-contributions from other sources to meet the required funding ratio must be derived from non-Victorian Government sources.
In determining the RDV funding level, the total Victorian Government contribution will be taken into consideration.
Small rural councils and alpine resorts are the only Local Government Authority entities that are eligible to claim in-kind contributions to the activity.
Community groups and social enterprises are also eligible to claim in-kind contributions.
The in-kind contribution will be capped at 25 per cent of the applicant’s contribution.
Assessment of financial and other risks
Applications to the IFF must include information to enable regional Development Victoria to assess financial and other non-financial risks associated with the proposal as part of its due diligence. This includes consideration of elements that may pose a reputational risk to the State, such as:
- whether the applicant has already received grants from the Victorian Government.
- whether the applicant has failed to meet key contractual obligations for previous grant agreements with the State. Note: delays due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and responses may be taken into consideration at the Department’s discretion.
- where the proposal has already been fully funded by the applicant through other means (e.g. capital raising on the Australian Stock Exchange).
- where due diligence (probity checks) uncovers adverse findings.
Contact your local RDV office to discuss eligibility and receive a copy of the Program Guidelines. If your project aligns with the program, the RDV office will send you a link to the online Expression of Interest (EOI) form.
Review the Program Guidelines and prepare an Expression of Interest (EOI).
If your Expression of Interest (EOI) is supported to proceed, you will then receive a link to submit a full application form. Complete the funding application and submit with associated documentation.