The NSW Government will help fund the annual Mardi Gras festival.

After years of trying, New Mardi Gras signed a funding deal with Events NSW securing funding for next year’s parade and festival.

The exact funding amount is unknown, but Sydney Star Observer understands it is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Mardi Gras injects an estimated $30 million into the NSW economy each year.

New Mardi Gras Chair David Imrie said the funding decision served as official recognition of the vital role the event plays in the NSW economy.

It is fantastic, for both the organisation and the entire GLBT community to receive such massive recognition, finally, from the state of NSW, Imrie told Sydney Star Observer.

New Mardi Gras and Events NSW will work together to encourage greater national and international participation in the parade by developing new marketing strategies through Tourism NSW. There are also plans to secure broadcast coverage of the event again.

Events NSW chief executive Geoff Parmenter said the funding would solidify Mardi Gras as a world-class event.

Events NSW have a real interest in ensuring this iconic event continues to thrive with an enduring and sustainable business model, Parmenter said.

New Mardi Gras general manager Anna McInerney said the decision was the result of two years of negotiations.

It’s been a long and bumpy road at times, but our goal has finally been achieved, so on both a personal and a professional level it’s an enormous accomplishment, she said.

The funding allows us to build a sustainable, long-term arts and cultural festival and reinforce our position as the premier gay and lesbian festival so that anyone who is gay, or not, would want to come to Sydney at least once in their life to experience it.

The funding comes six years after the government turned its back on Mardi Gras as it fell into receivership.

It was only saved thanks to the generous support of a number of organisations including ACON, the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, Queer Screen, Pride and the Sydney Star Observer.

ACON CEO Stevie Clayton welcomed the news but said it would be important that the festival did not lose touch with its grassroots.

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