Council scholarships and grants

Mayoral Scholarship Program 

Council's Mayoral Scholarships Program is an initiative of Cessnock City Mayor, Councillor Bob Pynsent. It is designed to assist local residents in achieving their education goals and support industry sectors that offer gainful employment in the Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA).

Since its inception in 2002, the Mayoral Scholarships Program has benefited 218 local residents with scholarships totalling $545,000.

2021 Mayoral Scholarships Program

Applications for the 2021 Mayoral Scholarships Program will open on Wednesday 3 March 2021 and close Monday 5 April 2021.

If you reside in the Cessnock LGA and are currently undertaking study at university or TAFE you may be eligible for a scholarship of $2500 to assist you. 

Thank you to the sponsors of the 2021 Mayoral Scholarships Program:

Dollar for Dollar Grant Scheme

Cessnock City Council believes in investing in the community. Each financial year, we make funding available under our Dollar for Dollar Grant Scheme to support community, cultural, sporting and environmental projects.

We currently offer four Dollar for Dollar Grant Schemes:

Sporting facilities

Grants are offered to local sporting and community groups for projects that aim to improve or refurbish Council owned sporting facilities or purchase of equipment for the long term benefit of the club and Council.

Community facilities

Grants are offered to complete minor capital works and purchase equipment for Council’s community assets in order to improve the utilisation of the facilities by user groups and the general public. The target facilities are Council community halls and buildings.

Community and cultural development

Grants are offered to not-for-profit community, arts and cultural groups to:

  • undertake projects, activities and events that increase opportunities for community participation and improve community well-being
  • undertake projects, activities, events and projects that can demonstrate a benefit to the cultural or artistic development of the wider community
  • undertake improvements to Council owned facilities licenced to, occupied or leased by the group which will contribute to the cultural or artistic use of the facility.

Sustainable Communities - Tidy Towns

Grants are offered to not-for-profit community environmental groups (such as adopted Section 355 Committees of Council, Landcare, etc.) to undertake projects that make ‘on the ground’ improvements to the local environment, encourage community pride and promote a positive community image.

2020 Dollar for Dollar recipients 

We are proud to announce that 31 local community based organisations have been successful in the 2020/21 round of the Community Dollar for Dollar Grant Scheme, with over $91,000 distributed to support community, cultural, sporting and environmental projects.  

Successful recipients Dollar for Dollar Grant Scheme 2020/21

Community and Cultural Development

  • Cessnock City Toastmasters Club: Digital equipment for better accessibility with hybrid meetings = $897
  • Cessnock Family Support Service Inc: 'Cessnock Walks Kawuma 2021' promotion, stage hire, toilets = $3000
  • Cessnock Senior Citizens Association: Seniors in Cessnock bus travel = $500
  • Cessnock Wood turners Inc: Machinery and tools = $1630
  • Coalfields Local History Association Inc: Digital scanner for digitisation project = $1310
  • Freemasons Cessnock (Lodge Cessnock 252): COVID-19 hand sanitiser stations = $747
  • Kearsley Community Dawn Service Committee Inc: Service photographs of WWII servicemen from Kearsley and Abernethy = $274
  • Sculpture in the Vineyards Inc: 'Sculpture in the Vineyards' Wollombi sculpture festival marketing, venue hire, transportation, printing = $3000
  • Towns with Heart Inc: '2021 Town of Murals Art Show' major award (acquisitive art prize) = $2200
  • Towns with Heart Inc: Restoration of four Kurri Kurri murals = $2200
  • Weston Heritage and Tidy Towns Committee: Mural for Weston Civic Centre = $6242
  • Wollombi School Education Trust Inc: 2021 WSCET community events program publicity and promotion, children’s holiday workshops, marquee, speakers and seminar program, and Easter Market Day = $3000

Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns

  • Cessnock Tidy Towns: Shade structure = $840.91
  • Weston Heritage & Tidy Town: Refurbishment of water tower = $5650

Community Facilities

  • Aberdare Pre School Inc: Accessible ramp = $4065
  • Abermain Plaza Hall Section 355 Committee: Gardens = $4330
  • Cessnock Multi-Purpose Children’s Centre: Synthetic grass = $5000
  • Greta Rural Fire Brigade: Security lighting = $1052
  • Kurri Kurri Retired Miners Association (Kurri Kurri Senior Citizens Section 355 Committee): Replacement of doors and windows = $4071
  • North Cessnock Community Hall Section 355 Committee: Solar panels = $6245
  • Weston Community Pre School: Skylights = $1205
  • Wollombi Valley Progress Association (Laguna Section 355 Committee): Maintenance and upgrades to Laguna Community Hall = $1800

Sporting Facilities

  • Branxton Croquet Club: Safety rail at clubhouse = $2638
  • Branxton Greta Amateur Swimming Club: Shade marquee = $2615
  • Cessnock Dog Club: Dog training equipment = $1500
  • Cessnock Dog Club: Ground maintenance and bindii control at Baddeley Park, Cessnock = $150
  • Cessnock District Hockey Association: Kitchen appliances = $905
  • Kearsley Community Sporting Association Inc: Kitchen appliances = $1200
  • Kurri Kurri Rugby League Football Club: Ride on lawn mower and push mower = $4534
  • Kurri Kurri Tennis Club: Replacement of tennis nets, lawn mower and grass trimmer = $800
  • Mulbring Cricket Club: Grandstand flooring = $6771
  • Weston Workers Bears Football Club: Portable goal posts = $5000
  • Wollombi Valley Pony Club: Maintenance of horse arena surface = $3437
  • Wollombi Valley Tennis & Sports Association: Floor covering = $2682

How to apply 

The following Dollar for Dollar Grant Scheme are currently open:

  • Sporting Facilities – Closes COB Friday 3 September 2021
  • Community Facilities – Closes COB Friday 3 September 2021
  • Community and Cultural Development – Closes COB Friday 3 September 2021

Applications for the Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns grant will open early 2022. Please check back for details.

The Dollar for Dollar Grant Scheme Guidelines and application form can be found here.


Successful applicants are required to complete a Dollar for Dollar Grant Scheme Acquittal Form on completion of their project. Funds will not be awarded to applicants who have outstanding acquittals for any previously awarded Council grants.

Need more information?

If you would like to find out more about our grants scheme, please call us and ask to speak to the following Council officers: 

Sporting facilities or community facilities - Recreation and Community Liaison Officer 
Community and cultural development - Community and Cultural Development Officer 
Tidy Towns - Sustainability Officer