photo-icon WellFest Adelaide at Light Square

One year of the Adelaide Economic Development Agency

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Adelaide Economic Development Agency (AEDA) commencing its operations! It’s been a big 12 months and we’d love to use this opportunity to reflect on the past year.

A subsidiary of the City of Adelaide, AEDA was formed to work closely with businesses, industry groups, state government agencies and other relevant organisations and deliver a range of programs designed to stimulate the city's economic growth with a focus on investment attraction, growing our visitor economy, residential growth, marketing the city as a whole and promoting Rundle Mall as Adelaide's premier shopping destination. The team at AEDA quickly hit the ground running and has had many achievements in its first year of operation.

Experience Adelaide

One of the first tasks for AEDA was establishing a brand new website and four new social channels – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. These channels are used to ensure the public knows everything it needs to know about visiting, living, working, studying and investing in the CBD and North Adelaide, as well as providing small business support. Throughout the year, AEDA has also grown its weekly What’s On database to over 100,000 while also producing a podcast to showcase experiences and opportunities in the city.

Voucher promotions

AEDA ran two voucher campaigns in 2021 to encourage people to come into the city and North Adelaide. These initiatives injected $658,600 into the city economy. As part of Adelaide’s Long Lunch, 20,000 $30 vouchers were distributed to redeem at hospitality businesses, while another 5,000 were to be used for experiences around the city. Vouchers were redeemed at over 110 businesses across the city. Part of the Hit the Town campaign in winter, Dinner’s On Us saw 5,000 $30 vouchers sent and the customers that used them had an average additional spend of $2.10 for every $1 of voucher spent.


October was a busy month for AEDA with two major events being delivered – VOGUE Festival in Rundle Mall and the inaugural WellFest Adelaide. At the VOGUE Festival, over 170 offers, discounts and experiences were arranged, which led to traffic in the Mall increasing by 12.3 per cent compared to the average. WellFest Adelaide featured three different events which activated numerous areas of the city. It kicked off with a Business Leaders Luncheon at Adelaide Town Hall before three separate Wellness Squared events with free sessions and presentations that allowed participants to recharge. Over 11,000 people enjoyed a day out with their dogs at Hounds on Hutt at Victoria Park and Hutt Street.

Retail Precinct of the Year

Rundle Mall won a national retail honour in 2021, earning Australia’s Retail Precinct of the Year at the National Retail Awards. The Retail Precinct of the Year award honours shopping centres and precincts for leading the way in providing experiential and entertaining opportunities for customers and the NRA judges were impressed with Rundle Mall’s continued efforts to provide the best possible experience to retailers and customers alike.


We worked with a number of different organisations to deliver outcomes for the city. Our partnership with Renew Adelaide meant we supported the establishment of 17 new businesses and entrepreneurs through the city. Over 300 businesses were provided assistance and support through the Business SA City Business Support Program, while a City Business Growth Program was also launched in conjunction with Business SA for 50 firms. In September, AEDA launched the Strategic Partnership Program that provides financial support and works with partner organisations that have new ideas to accelerate the city’s economy.

Welcome to Adelaide pilot program

The Business and Investment (B&I) team started a new program in 2021 to help businesses transition their new offices in the CBD. The Welcome to Adelaide program involves AEDA working with organisations moving staff into the City to help them take advantage of everything the city has to offer, including introductory offers at UParks, Adelaide Aquatic Centre, Rundle Mall and North Adelaide Golf Course, a foyer pop-up with the Adelaide Central Market and facilitating staff connection to key services around the city. The B&I team worked with over 55 firms about potential relocation or expansion in the city.

Events and Festivals Sponsorship Program

AEDA administer both the Events Recovery Fund and Annual Sponsorship Program. The Events Recovery Fund is to support the events industry as it continues to face challenges as a result of the long-term impacts of COVID-19 through quick response, expansion of existing events and new events grants. In the Annual Sponsorship Program, we supported iconic South Australian events such at the Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Festival, WOMADelaide, Santos Festival of Cycling and more. Across these two programs, we will allocate $2.7 million to the events sector by the end of the 2021/22 financial year.

Visitor Information Centre

Adelaide’s Visitor Information Centre transitioned from James Place to its new home on Pirie Street in 2021. Our team of 74 knowledgeable volunteers give their time to help people make the most of their travels in Adelaide and South Australia. We also started a retail offering in the Centre, stocking Southern Providore products for sale, so people can get a taste of South Australia from the heart of the city.

Residential Growth

Significant work was placed on examining ways to increase the number of people living in the city. AEDA commissioned economic analysis on the benefits of investment in prioritising residential development in the City and an assessment of the new Planning and Design Code, hosted roundtables with private sector developers and community housing providers and undertook extensive discussions with State Government agencies to develop a set of initiatives that would make a material difference to increasing the number of people living in the city.

We’re really excited to keep building on this work in 2022 and are looking forward to some really exciting projects such as a new Digital Marketplace for Adelaide and much more.