Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing MP, has announced Baw Baw Shire Council has secured $4 million for the West Gippsland Art Centres redevelopment from Victoria’s Regional Infrastructure Fund.
Ms Shing visited the West Gippsland Regional Arts Centre to announce that the Victorian Government would contribute $4 million to the West Gippsland Regional Arts Centre Upgrade Project.
“The WGAC is a well-loved facility but after 34 years of constant use, it needs to keep pace with higher audience numbers, new technology and our hectic artistic and creative calendar”, Ms Shing said.
The full scope of the upgrade is estimated at $13.9 million and will see major improvements to the facility that include an increase in seating capacity from 480 to 750, a new access foyer and universal design principles that encompass wheelchair spaces, assisted access aisles and an elevator.
“The redevelopment will provide seating for 750 (people), a new cafe with views across the park, better disability access, and tech upgrades will all enable the new centre to serve Gippsland audiences, students, artists and performers better, stimulate tourism and visitation and promote Warragul”, Ms Shing said.
Baw Baw Shire Mayor Joe Gauci said he was grateful to the Victorian Government for its significant contribution to the project.
“On behalf of Baw Baw Shire Council, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the Victorian Government for recognising the value of this project and providing a funding commitment that will allow us to move this project onto the next level”, Cr Joe Gauci said.
“By upgrading this facility, we will be in a position to provide a space for the community to learn, enjoy and participate for generations to come.”
Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, also welcomes the announcement.
Mr Blackwood describes the West Gippsland Arts Centre as an important asset to the region.
“The centre has hosted some amazing performances, artists and cultural and social events and this announcement today of funding to assist in redeveloping the Arts Centre to cater for an even wider range of events is the next step for this great facility”, Mr Blackwood said.
“I congratulate the Baw Baw Shire Council for their hard work in advocating for these funds and look forward to seeing the redevelopment take shape so that future generations can continue to enjoy the events hosted at the West Gippsland Arts Centre.”
Council is currently finalising an application for funding under the Federal Government’s National Stronger Region’s Fund.
“We hope the Federal Government will match the State Government’s funding commitment and bring us closer to making the project a reality”, Cr Gauci said.