The Keilor Gift will return in 2018, following a funding commitment from Brimbank council.
The council approved $25,000 for the gift in last week’s budget, just nine months after the 2017 event was cancelled because of a cash shortfall.
Keilor Gift chairman Hayden Kelly said it was pleasing to have the gift back for 2018.
He said the organising committee had already locked in the event for its traditional second Saturday in February.
“We’re very happy about it,” Mr Kelly said.
“A huge thanks to the council for making this happen, especially Virginia Tachos, our local councillor, who’s really driven this.
“We’re more than happy to have it back and we’re looking forward to making it bigger and better.”
The 2017 Keilor Gift was called off and the future of the 83-year-old footrace was in the balance after the council withdrew 50 per cent of its funding in October last year. The funding was cut from $10,000 in previous years to $5000.
Brimbank mayor John Hedditch said the newly-elected council recognised the gift’s importance and was pleased to dramatically increase its funding to the event.
“Council increased the amount of funding available to support the delivery of a number of community events and services, recognising the value of these activities to the community,” Cr Hedditch said.
“The Keilor Gift is one of the community events that council is pleased to support.”
Cr Hedditch said a festival and events policy is being developed by the council which will include looking at funding options for community events.
The gift’s organising committee had requested a four-year fund commitment for the event. While that was not approved, Mr Kelly said he was confident about the gift’s future.
“We do have some confidence that the event is safe, at least in the life of this council,” he said. “We’re very confident that we’ll still attract the quality of competitors that we had in the past. The date is locked in and now it’s about working with traders and Athletics Victoria to make the event a success.”