Shire to stage its build of cultural precinct

October 9, 2021 BY

An indicative drawing showing the first and second stages of the Cultural Facility and Library works. Photo: SURF COAST SHIRE

THE Surf Coast Shire will build its Cultural Facility and Library project in stages and is seeking $9 million in state government funding to help deliver the first stage.

To be located at 77 Beach Road Torquay, the facility will include a larger library, Australian National Surfing Museum, Visitor Information and Arts Facility and will deliver social connections, increased visitation and a boost for the Surf City Precinct.

According to the officers’ report presented to councillors at their meeting on Tuesday last week, a facility at that scope and scale has been initially estimated to cost more than $50 million.

“This cost estimate means delivering such a project is unlikely or perhaps unattainable in the current funding environment,” the report states.

“For this reason, the investigative work done to date concludes that retaining the vision of a four in one facility and delivering it in two stages is the preferred and most achievable option.”

Councillors resolved on a staged approach to deliver the overall vision of the building.

The existing Multi Arts Centre in the former sport and recreation building will receive the first upgrade, with $1.4 million investment from the federal government’s 2022 Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program so it becomes a more fit-for-purpose arts facility.

Following this, stage one will deliver a new library, Australian National Surf Museum, Visitor Information Centre, maker spaces and rehearsal spaces worth $33 million expected in 2024.

The council will pursue $9 million in funding from the state government’s Growing Suburbs Fund ($7.5 million) and Living Libraries Infrastructure Program ($1.5 million for stage one) and has committed just over $8 million of its own money through these grant applications.

Stage two is expected in 2030 and will deliver a fully developed new 250-seat theatre, new gallery and an artist-in-residence area. This is estimated to cost $21 million and the council will need to secure future funding to help deliver the state-of-the-art facility.

Cr Rose Hodge said this was a huge step for the vibrant local arts community and creative industries.

“We heard loud and clear through developing the Council Plan that arts and creativity is a huge part of our Surf Coast Shire communities.

“Kicking off this project with substantial funding applications brings the dream closer to reality and will deliver such great social, cultural and economic benefits to the Surf Coast Shire.

“We know our creatives will uses these spaces as will local families and visitors to our region. This increased visitation to a new and exciting facility will deliver strong benefits for the precinct, the town and the municipality.”

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