A pool of almost $550,000 in funding will be split between five Gascoyne projects helping to the diversify the local economy and build business resilience. Under round six of the State Government’s Regional Economic Development (RED) grants program, $548,090 has been allocated to several ventures in the Gascoyne. The program is set to invest $50.85 million over nine years towards local projects to stimulate growth in the regions. Taking the biggest slice of the Gascoyne pie is the Shire of Shark Bay, which has been awarded $250,000 to build five new homes in Denham, housing up to 10 essential workers and their families. Two of the homes will be for shire workers, while the other three will be leased on a long-term basis as Government Regional Officers’ Housing (GROH). The Birdcage Hair Salon in Exmouth has been allocated $180,000 to expand their business by refurbishing a building within the town’s commercial precinct. It will transform the business into the town’s biggest holistic hair and beauty salon, and create an extra four full-time jobs. Awarded a $103,090 grant, Carnarvon-based Gascoyne Plumbing Services will expand their services throughout the Gascoyne, and expect to create four new full-time jobs. The business will purchase and customise a trailer with wastewater and freshwater tanks, making them the only company that can transport potable water in the region. The ABC Foundation will use its $10,000 grant to buy a custom-made cage trailer, after it was awarded the Gascoyne region’s Containers for Change scheme contract in 2020. Exmouth Dental has been awarded $5000 to buy sedation equipment for the delivery of nitrous oxide to anxious dental patients, who would otherwise need to travel to Perth for anaesthesia. Regional Development Minister announced the Gascoyne grant recipients in Shark Bay on Wednesday. “RED grants provide the opportunity to support community-led projects which boost our regional economies and create more jobs and career pathways in our regions,” he said. Earlier last week, Mr Punch was at Wooleen Station in the Murchison to officially open its new visitor hub which had been backed by a $100,000 REDs grant. The owners of Wooleen Station have moved and refurbished a 100-year-old shearer’s shed kitchen, transforming it into a reception area, cafe and art studio. “It demonstrates that when heritage is embraced and valued, it can become a valuable asset for the community and a tourism drawcard,” Mr Punch said.