$2m funding boost for arts and cultural facilities in Lake Macquarie
30th May 2018
More than $2 million in funding for art and cultural projects in Lake Macquarie has been formally unveiled today.
Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper has announced that funding applications for the extension of Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery and the establishment of a Multi Arts Space at Speers Point have been approved in the first round of grants made under the NSW Government’s $100m Regional Cultural Fund (RCF).
Lake Macquarie City Council’s gallery and art space projects are among 68 projects across NSW which will share in close to $50m worth of first round grants.
The $100 million RCF is part of the NSW Government’s $1.3 billion Regional Growth Fund which aims to improve economic outcomes as well as the standard of living and wellbeing of people living in regional NSW.
Mr Piper said it’s a coup for arts and culture locally.
“This is a fabulous outcome for the council and I know these projects will bring a great deal of joy to the people of Lake Macquarie,” Mr Piper said.
“The RCF is all about supporting projects – big or small – that will enhance the cultural richness and vibrancy of our regional communities.
“This is a fantastic boost to arts and culture, not just for Lake Macquarie but the entire Hunter Region and reflects a real local vision to establish a strong cultural identity,” he said.
Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Councillor Kay Fraser, welcomed the State Government’s commitment to both projects, saying they would set new benchmarks for cultural excellence, innovation and creativity.
“The Speers Point multi arts space is an exciting project – a regional first that will push the boundaries of arts and cultural exhibition by providing a flexible platform for cutting edge multimedia, contemporary installations, performance and music,” Cr Fraser said.
“It will be a visually stunning building, designed by final-year University of Newcastle architecture students to a high-quality, contemporary brief incorporating the best principles of environmentally sustainable design.
“It will become a landmark for the city, activating Speers Point Park and creating a regional destination for artistic excellence and innovation.
“The Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery expansion will provide space to attract larger exhibitions, while also allowing the gallery to simultaneously host complementary shows and public programs.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said it is great to see such a vast array of exciting projects being funded under the arts-specific fund.
“Having grown up and raised a family in a regional area, I know our regional towns and cities can have so much to offer in the arts and culture space,” Mr Barilaro said.
“I congratulate the Lake Macquarie community on the successful outcome of their grant application, and for putting forward projects that will enhance the cultural infrastructure of Lake Macquarie,” Mr Barilaro said.
Arts Minister Don Harwin said the fund was established to ensure regional NSW received its fair share of arts and cultural infrastructure, no matter where you live.
“Arts and culture is at the heart of every regional community and this funding is evidence that the NSW Government’s commitment to driving growth in arts, screen, culture and heritage in regional NSW is making a difference,” Mr Harwin said.
Applications will soon be invited for the next round of funding through the scheme.
Notes to the editor:
Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery’s development ($735,789) will include extended collection storage and exhibition space (including a dedicated space for contemporary Aboriginal arts practice), covered outdoor programming space, a reconfigured entrance, a new efficient air-conditioning plant and additional photovoltaic panels.
The Speers Point Multi Arts Space ($1,346,661) will be a new multi-arts facility for screen and digital art, performance and music, installations, workshops and be a central hub for outdoor creative activity within Speers Point Park. The vision is for a contemporary, architect-designed space that will fulfil the expanded role Council wants to play over the coming decade in nurturing creative development and access to quality arts and cultural experiences for residents and visitors.