Ballarat’s hunger for foodie events has been reinforced with the return of Plate Up Ballarat and a likely cash injection from Ballarat Council.
At the City of Ballarat’s first council meeting of the year, councillors are expected to approve a strategic partnership grant for Plate Up Ballarat worth $35,000 a year for three years.
Plate Up Ballarat director Kate Davis had applied for $60,000 per year following the success of the inaugural event in 2018 which received a $25,000 City of Ballarat Tourism Event grant.
The inaugural Plate Up Ballarat event, held last May, hosted 38 events involving more than 90 local producers, attracted 17,100 attendees and provided an economic impact to the local economy of $539,760.
In her submission to council, Ms Davis also outlined new events to be added to this year’s event menu including the “Toast of Ballarat” campaign making a hero out of toasted sandwiches, Lunch Ltd Venues offering a lunch special matched with local wine, Plant Up Ballarat with the rise in popularity of plant-based eating, and Blokes Who Bake.
Wednesday’s council meeting is also expected to acknowledge the success of Plate Up Ballarat in its first year of operation.
Ms Davis wrote that, a little over three months out from the second event, there were 34 events confirmed to date with more expected, and a collaboration with Ballarat Heritage Weekend to create uniquely themed events to complement that event, which also runs in May.
Plate Up Ballarat 2019 aims to attract 10,000 local visitors, 4950 day trippers and 2500 overnight stays with a projected economic impact of $785,500.
She said that during 2018, not having a venue to cater for large numbers on weekends impacted on visitor numbers.
“However we have booked the Mining Exchange for 2020 and have put down a booking for the Civic Hall for 2019 and are awaiting confirmation. If we can host events at the Civic Hall or Mining Exchange for instance, this will alter the attendance number dramatically by thousands,” Ms Davis wrote.
The popular Pie Competition is also set to return with a new category for bakeries. To further align the competition with the Western Bulldogs, the Pie Competition will launch at the May 11 AFL game in Ballarat, with the people’s choice winner declared at the August AFL match at Mars Stadium.
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