A MULTI-TOWN campaign involving Orange to encourage people to move to regional NSW may be failing, with two of the seven participating councils pulling out and another considering jumping ship.
Evocities is a regional development program that was set up in 2009 with Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange, Armidale, Tamworth, Albury and Wagga Wagga councils signing up as members.
It cost each council $320,000 for the four-year Memorandum of Understanding, but that agreement comes to an end on June 30.
Recently Wagga council decided to take a one-year break from the initiative, while Armidale quit the program on Wednesday.
On Thursday Orange City Council said while it had signed a one-year MOU with Evocities for 2019-20 that it was reconsidering that decision.
Orange's future involvement in Evocities is the subject of a report being prepared for Orange City Council to consider in the coming months.Orange City Council's community and corporate relations manager Nick Redmond
"Orange's future involvement in Evocities is the subject of a report being prepared for Orange City Council to consider in the coming months," council community and corporate relations manager Nick Redmond said.
"The decision by Armidale to withdraw from Evocities will be part of that report."
Evocities chair, and mayor of Albury council, Kevin Mack said despite the exits the campaign was not a failure.
"For a national campaign with a restricted budget, what it achieves is quite remarkable," he said.
"Accessing city media is not cheap, we're doing electronic media, radio advertising, social media, billboards.
"As individual councils, we couldn't afford that kind of marketing and that kind of penetration, but we can get it together."
In the past 10 years, he said 3700 families had relocated to a member councils areas thanks to Evocities and each family brought an extra $120,000 to the local economy.
An extra 455 new households had moved to Bathurst thanks to Evocities, mayor Graeme Hanger said of why it had signed up to continue until 2023.
"Our city has been an avid supporter of the Evocities program since its inception and we are proud of what we have achieved," he said.
Cr Hanger said Evocities had been a hugely successful regional marketing campaign.
"It has attracted significant market penetration and delivered some fantastic key outcomes for all the cities involved, including boosting the economic activity," he said.
Dubbo council has also signed up to continue with Evocities until June 30, 2023.
"Our city recognises the importance of resident attraction and skills attraction, and we remain committed to promoting our region as a great place to live, work and invest," council's economic development and marketing manager Josie Howard said.
Meanwhile, Mr Mack said the exit of Armidale and Wagga would help "open the door for other large regional centres to join the push for growth".
However, he said no other councils would be added to the Evocities initiative but other new programs may be created to encourage regional growth.
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