The Turnbull Government will provide $300,000 to the Flying Fruit Fly Circus (FFFC) to help the Albury-Wodonga based school develop accommodation options for visiting artists, directors and trainers.

Minister for the Arts Senator Mitch Fifield said the highly acclaimed Flying Fruit Fly Circus is one of a kind, attracting interest from across the country and around the world, so it’s important there is appropriate accommodation for their visitors.

“Approaching their 40th year, this is a milestone achievement for a unique training school, with this funding helping it to continue thriving and playing an important artistic role in regional Australia”, Senator Fifield said.

The Circus was born in 1979, when the enterprising Murray River Performing Group (MRPG) initiated a children’s holiday program along with a few intrepid circus artists, training 80 school children from the region over a six-week period.

Marking 12 months out from that anniversary, local MP Sussan Ley announced the $300k grant today at the Fruit Fly’s home base in South Albury.

“This money will allow the ‘Fruities’ to acquire fit-for-purpose short-term accommodation, ready for the 2019 academic year when the Circus will be celebrating this milestone anniversary.”

FFFC Executive Director, Richard Hull said the grant was “a wonderful endorsement by the government of our unique work in regional Australia. It also acknowledges an increasing need to support artists and trainers from around the world to teach, learn and create with us here in Albury-Wodonga”.

“With today’s announcement, the Flying Fruit Fly Circus also launches its fundraising campaign to raise additional support for the purchase of the property, as well as the associated fit-out
and management costs”.

The one-off $300,000 contribution from the Government will be supported by fundraising of around $150,000, seeking in-kind support from the community, local business and tradespeople.

The Flying Fruit Fly Circus is one of eight national elite performing arts training organisations the Government supports through the Department of Communications and the Arts.