Community to manage future arts facility in Torquay
THE Surf Coast Shire has given the green light for the Surf Coast Sports and Recreation Centre to be transformed into a dedicated arts facility but says the community will have to take the lead in managing it.
There was applause from several people in colourful hats in the public gallery at last week’s council meeting when councillors resolved that the centre on Beach Road in Torquay be used as a community-led arts facility when it is no longer required for sport and recreation purposes, subject to several conditions.
These conditions include a formation of a multi-disciplinary arts collective capable of managing the facility, and the collective submitting a management plan for the facility to the council’s satisfaction.
The centre will be surplus to sporting requirements in 2021 when the shire delivers the Surf Coast Multipurpose Indoor Stadium in Torquay North.
The officers’ report to councillors noted the council’s capacity to make the financial investment and attract other contributions to realise a conversion project costing nearly $2 million (based on a 2018 feasibility study) was limited.
Members of the arts community have advocated for a community-led arts facility to reduce the time it may take to deliver a council-run art facility. This is likely to reduce the capital cost to the shire.
In response to public submissions during the 2019-20 budget process, the council identified an opportunity to support a representative group of artists and creators that could not only advocate for the creative community but also had the potential to manage an arts facility.
However, “no such group currently exists”, and the council allocated $20,000 to facilitate such a group coming together.
At the council meeting, Cr Martin Duke noted “there’s a lot of hats in here tonight”.
“It’s going to take a lot of work over the next 12 months for many groups to get together and work on this.”