Close window

Regional Development Victoria

Government invests in new arts infrastructure around the state

6 October 2017

Major infrastructure projects around Victoria promise to add new artistic energy to regional communities and boost the regional economies of Barwon South West, Gippsland, Hume and the Grampians.

Designs were recently unveiled for the new $34.5 million Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) redevelopment, with Denton Corker Marshall announced as the winning architects of a national design competition.

Denton Corker Marshall’s design is sympathetic to the natural environment and designed to foster engagement, ownership and pride for visitors and local audiences alike.

The Government-supported project will strengthen Shepparton’s status as a cultural destination. Relocating the arts museum to the more prominent and accessible location of Victoria Lake Park will help attract more visitors, enable it to host major exhibitions and create greater capacity to showcase SAM’s unique ceramics, indigenous and multi-cultural collections.

In addition to 72 jobs created during construction, once operational the museum is forecast to generate 23 jobs by its tenth year. Shepparton Council’s business case for the project forecasts it will lead to an increase in visitation to the art museum from about 36,800 to up to 100,000 in five years. This is expected to translate into an increase in visitor spending in the region by $6.25 million every year.

Early in the new financial year Latrobe City Council approved key design and planning documentation so the new Latrobe Creative Arts Precinct can get underway.

Tenders for procurement of architectural services closed on 5 October, with strong interest registered from a number of leading architectural firms. The Office of the State Architect will now apply its expertise as a member of the selection panel to determine the preferred architect for the project.

An external project manager has been appointed and an expression of interest for an early construction contractor will go to tender in early 2018 with the new 750 seat theatre expected to be open by September 2020.

This project is a game changer for performing arts in Latrobe City. In addition to raising the profile of performing arts in the Latrobe Valley, partnerships between Federation University and Latrobe City Council will enable a range of creative and technical arts related programs to be conducted at the facility.

The Geelong Performing Arts Centre (GPAC) has secured award-winning builders, Kane Constructions, to deliver the $38.5 million Ryrie Street Redevelopment.

Kane Constructions has a strong presence in Geelong, with projects including the redevelopment of Simonds Stadium, the award-winning Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, and the Playhouse Theatre.

Supported through the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, GPAC construction is now underway and will involve 100 jobs. The project will improve accessibility with universal access to the Playhouse Theatre and studios. It will include two new foyers and a bar area, provide new spaces for creative practitioners and organisations, and include four new rehearsal studios.

The architectural design blends new and old, and reveals the facade of the historic church on the site that has been hidden since 1920. A major public art commission will complete the design with an artwork to be commissioned for the centre’s eastern exterior wall.

When complete, the Geelong Performing Arts Centre will service the city’s growing population, attract the best Australian and international performances and provide a stage for the local community to shine.

The Grampians region is set to benefit from a significant cultural injection that the Ararat Arts Precinct Redevelopment will make thanks to significant support from the Victorian Government.

Facilitated by RDV and Ararat Rural City Council, the $7.7 million project is currently underway to improve and expand the historic Ararat Town Hall by enhancing the Ararat Performing Arts Centre and the Ararat Regional Art Gallery, which are both housed in the building.

The project will create five full time jobs and retain six. The construction phase is creating 19 jobs, with steel installation for gallery and cafe currently underway and pre-caste concrete wall panels being put in place for gallery. The gantry rail track in the main hall is now installed and the space is being painted.

When complete, the precinct will provide the Grampians region with a much more impressive arts and cultural offering for locals and visitors alike. It will improve visitor experiences, boost visitation, and deliver associated economic benefits.

© Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, State Government of Victoria

Last Updated: 23 October 2017