Funding for arts and youth

Mountains communities will benefit from the latest round of the federal government's Building Better Regions Fund - with two groups the lucky grant recipients.

Gallery One88 in Katoomba: One of the groups involved with the Art of Lunch project which starts next month. It fuses art, food and music.

Gallery One88 in Katoomba: One of the groups involved with the Art of Lunch project which starts next month. It fuses art, food and music.

The Blue Mountains Economic Enterprsie (BMEE) has received almost $20,000 for the study of post school pathways for Mountains youth opportunities and $18,000 will go to the Blue Mountains Artists Company for the Art of Lunch Initiative, start-up project.

BMEE is focusing on youth, conducting research to develop and inform strategic planning around economic and labour force engagement in the region.

Bernard Fehon, CEO of BMEE, was happy their grant application had been successful.

"Our demographic analysis shows that compared to Greater Sydney, the Mountains has a higher than average number of children at school age, yet post school, we see this number drop significantly. Clearly, our youth are moving out ... to work and study, and we believe there are real economic benefits for the community overall if there were more local post school pathways to careers."

Liberal Senator Marise Payne said "The Mountains is a thriving location and destination and this funding will contribute further to youth career pathways and employment by ensuring the needs of the region, based on real evidence, is known."

Artistic director of the Art of Lunch initiative, Susan Cochrane, said their event will be a drawcard for cultural tourism and residents "showcasing the virtuosity of our artists, musicians and chefs".

The Art of Lunch is on the last Sunday of each month from May until October.

"The event will take place simultaneously at several leading restaurants and galleries within the Greater Blue Mountains region, with each venue offering a different theme, exhibition and performance."

Senator Payne said "This project will greatly benefit local artists, the community, small businesses and visitors to the region with a culmination of culinary, artistic and musical delight. This is a great outcome for the Blue Mountains community.