$118k boost for Beach Cup

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Rockingham Beach Cup in 2017.
Camera IconRockingham Beach Cup in 2017. Credit: Picture: Peter Le Scelle

Rockingham council has approved an extra $118,000 in funding to help promote a beachfront horse racing event.

Touted as Rockingham’s marquee social and tourism event, councillors last week voted to approve a proposal for extra funding for the Rockingham Beach Cup, which is run by the Rotary Club of Palm Beach and is the only beachside racing event in WA. The cup has been run twice before — in 2016 and 2017 — but was cancelled last year because of the Rockingham Foreshore Redevelopment works.

The first two events each attracted more than 30,000 people to the Rockingham foreshore over the course of the weekend for the race and community festival.

Councillor Andrew Burns said the event had “amazing community support” and he didn’t see the funding as an expense but as an investment.

“This is a huge opportunity to make a substantial investment for a return,” he said.

The extra funding from the City will go towards professional event management, marketing, an event launch, a food festival-style event and the horse racing.

In their report to councillors, City officers said the Beach Cup had the potential to be the biggest event held in Rockingham each year, and could draw crowds “that other major Rockingham events lack”.

“The Rockingham Beach Cup … is the only event of its kind in Western Australia,” they wrote.

“Having successfully run the event on two occasions already, the Rotary Club of Palm Beach have shown the event runs successfully, but to expand the scope they need outside assistance,” the report said. “The event is now too large to run on volunteer time alone.”

Cr Chris Elliott said it was “hard to justify not spending money” when predicted returns were so significant; City officers have estimated the event will bring in more than $1 million.

“This is an iconic event that promotes Rockingham nationwide more than anything and council should support his wholeheartedly,” Cr Elliott said.

The 2019 RBC is scheduled to be held on Sunday November 17.

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