Bespoke projects take High Country cycling to next level29/04/2021
The High Country’s reputation as a top-rung cycling tourism destination will receive a further boost, with new support confirmed by the Victorian Government.
The Government today announced a $2.5 million second round of grants from the Ride High Country Fund, which is helping local businesses attract visitors and increase demand for cycling in the region.
The Government will provide grants of up to $500,000 through a new streamlined process, making it easier for businesses to apply and open their doors to cyclists sooner.
The injection follows the successful first round of funding, which supported five new and established businesses to either start up or expand their offerings including accommodation and hospitality operations to support cyclists before and after they tackle the roads and trails.
Former professional mountain bike racer Miles Davis was a recipient of the first round of funding and plans to establish a conferencing and events centre, with a cycling focus, in Bright.
First-round grants totalled $1.9 million – the combined Ride High Country Fund investment of $4.4 million will trigger an extra $2 million in private investment and create an estimated 65 full-time equivalent jobs.
Prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the High Country was experiencing strong tourism growth, attracting 3.8 million visitors who spent $1.1 billion each year, and strong numbers have returned to the region in the first months of 2021.
The Government has also supported cycle tourism in the High Country through the Bushfire Recovery Regional Economic Stimulus and Resilience Grants under the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments’ $68.6 million Local Economic Recovery program.
Cycling tourism business Bright Velo received funding through this program to transform its accommodation facility to complement the region’s cycling tourism boom. The project incorporates updated lodgings, bike storage, gymnasium, function room and wine bar.
Applications for the second round of the Ride High Country Fund close on Thursday, 10 June 2021.