Boggabri residents have banded together to save their businesses and increase tourism in the "little town with a big heart".
More than 40 businesses have formed a sub-committee of the Boggabri Business and Community Progress Association to drive a "revamp" of the CBD, applying for $200,000 in state funding on Friday.
They believe unique art installations and signage could help draw tourists from the highway to the main street and "direct the traffic to the business owners".
Local hardware store owner Jo Bell was inspired to form the group after watching businesses close and shorten their hours over the past six years. The ongoing drought has increased the strain.
"We would like to rebuild our once-thriving little town ... We are quirky little Boggabri and we need to put ourselves back on the map," Ms Bell said.
"We have huge potential here ... Instead of fading away, we need to revamp ourselves.
"What we're aiming for is to get some signage, revamp our look and give our town something that's attractive to tourists.
"None of us as business owners have money to spend on our buildings because it's tough times, so any help we can get ... helps bring it back into the modern world."
We want to be proud of our town and not try and pretend to be something we're not. We want to be ourselves.Jo Bell, Boggabri Workshop
Ms Bell said the group was "hard-working and determined" but lacked funds and would apply for whatever it could with the support of Narrabri Shire Council.
"We've had to work hard and come up with some ideas, and we have got council supporting us with that," she said.
The community is striking while the iron is hot, applying for funding under the My Community Project on the heels of a CBD spruce-up through the Drought Communities Program. An added incentive is the sealing of the Grain Valley Road, which will be completed this year.
"We don't want to just paint the front of our buildings. We need something quirky; we need something different for people to want to come here," Ms Bell said.
"With the painting that's been done on our buildings recently, it will fit in with what we want to do. It's a stepping stone to fit in with what our goals are."
One hurdle was determining the true identity of the town.
"That's the first thing we asked ourselves - who are we? And no one could answer it," Ms Bell said.
After some brainstorming, the group came to the conclusion that "we're a diversified town" and this diversity is reflected in the designs of local artist Lorraine Maddigan.
"We want to be proud of our town and not try and pretend to be something we're not. We want to be ourselves," Ms Bell said.
Locals can vote on Boggabri My Community Project idea from July 15 on the Service NSW website, with successful projects to be announced in September.