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Precincts funding shake-up

04 Apr 2013

The City of Melbourne funding of local groups, such as the Docklands Chamber of Commerce (DCC) has undergone a change in structure, with the abolishment of over-arching Melbourne Business Precincts (MBP) organisation.

MBP was established to bring together Melbourne’s eight business precincts, pooling their funding and encouraging them to undertake joint marketing campaigns.

A council review into the MBP program found “various issues associated with the MBP program 2011-13,” which included:

Lack of collaboration;

Duplication of activities by MBP (of what the council was already doing);

Extra costs;

Confusion regarding program objectives and performance requirements; and

A lack of standard process.

The review put forward a new model for 2013-17, whereby funding is distributed to associations individually, as was the case before the formation of MBP.

DCC president Stephen Clement said the chamber had been a key driver behind the implementation of the new strategy.

“The new strategy gives the power back to the precincts,” Mr Clement said.

Mr Clement said the Melbourne Business Precincts organisation had not served the precincts and the new model would allow each precinct to have control over its own destiny.

The new program will require each group to have at least 25 paid members. The council also outlined objectives for these associations, such as marketing and promotional activities, representing the interest and views of precinct members and seek opportunities for recognised associations to collaborate with each other.

Each association is eligible to apply for up to $75,000 annually under the new scheme, $25,000 for administration and $50,000 for marketing, with funding to be determined by the number of members in each association.

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