e-News: Priority Project - Arts Precinct


Friends of the G21 Region, Geelong Arts Precinct

e-News is designed to provide you with a sense of the important activities and projects that are being proposed for the G21 Region.

Today's email looks at one of the ten priority projects recently presented to the Victorian Government's G21 Interdepartmental Committee (IDC). An initiative of the City of Greater Geelong, the Geelong Arts Precinct is endorsed and supported by G21 as a priority project of regional significance.

Located in the area bounded by Johnston Park, Gheringhap Street and Fenwick Street, the Geelong Arts Precinct will be a regional hub for the development of arts and cultural activities and businesses. The arts are a significant factor in determining the health and wellbeing of any community. They reflect and create an inclusive sense of community and attract an innovative and creative workforce to the region. With its rapid and ageing population growth, this is a key issue for the entire G21 region. The Arts Precinct will include a central plaza in Lt Malop Street, with surrounding arts infrastructure including an expanded Geelong Performing Arts Centre (GPAC) and Geelong Gallery, a reburbished Courthouse Youth Arts Centre (home of Back to Back Theatre), a new library and historic records centre and support facilities such as parking and cafes.

Current status: A scoping study and Master Plan has been completed. State government funding of $7.9 million over two years was secured in 2007 for the final planning and business case for GPAC and the Library/Heritage Centre and the refurbishment of the Courthouse Youth Arts Centre (the home of Back to Back Theatre). The current cost estimate for the completion of the project, which will be delivered by public private partnership over the next 4-5 years, is $120 million.

Next steps: In December 2008, G21 urged the State Government to consider the region's argument for fast tracking the redevelopment of the Ford Theatre refurbishment and the Ryrie Street end of GPAC with a 2009 budget allocation, as well as creating the new Library/Heritage Centre, Geelong Gallery and GPAC new performance spaces with a 2010 budget allocation. An IDC Project Champion has been appointed by the State Government to assist the progress of this project.

In the next edition of e-News, we'll look at another of the ten projects presented to the IDC, the Regional Marketing Program.

If you would like more detailed information about recent activities of G21, click on the G21 Snapshots button below.

We trust this edition of e-News has been of value to you.