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Bairnsdale arts precinct has feasibility plan completed by East Gippsland Shire Council

Council concludes a feasibility plan for an arts precinct in Bairnsdale's CBD, with the goal of establishing a vibrant cultural hub. Collaboration and funding efforts underscore the commitment to community engagement and cultural enhancement.

By news@gippsland - 18th March 2024 - Back to News

An arts and culture precinct in Bairnsdale's CBD is the focus of a feasibility plan recently completed by East Gippsland Shire Council. The precinct would include a range of creative spaces to support different creative pursuits, providing an invigorating hub for Bairnsdale and surrounding areas.

The Bairnsdale Arts Precinct plan involves collaboration among government, Traditional Owners, and the private sector, featuring various cultural amenities

The Bairnsdale Arts Precinct plan involves collaboration among government, Traditional Owners, and the private sector, featuring various cultural amenities

Arts precinct feasibility study

While an exciting development, council does recognise that the feasibility study is just the beginning. The feasibility study serves as a preliminary step, evaluating the viability of proposed plans and laying the groundwork for further community involvement, and a design stage when funding is available. Extensive consultation will be conducted throughout the progression of the project.

Spearheaded by Williams Ross Architects, the feasibility study explored the financial viability, cultural significance, environmental impact, and economic sustainability. The Bairnsdale Arts Precinct Feasibility Plan is a collaborative effort, bringing together government bodies, Traditional Owners, and the private sector.

A few of the precinct's envisioned features are a relocated Traditional Owner exhibition space, an expanded art gallery, a civic square housing a performing arts theatre and inviting riverfront spaces for recreation and exhibitions.

Stakeholder consultation group

To ensure diverse stakeholder input, council established a Project Reference Group (PRG) comprising representatives, including:

  • EGMI
  • Destination Gippsland
  • East Gippsland Art Gallery
  • Office of the Victorian Government Architects
  • GLaWAC
  • Community members

The involvement of Creative Arts Victoria, local performing dance groups, art studios, and musicians further enriched the consultation process.

Arts precinct development

Acting Chief Executive Officer Fiona Weigall said the Bairnsdale Arts Precinct represents a significant stride towards enhancing cultural activities, attracting visitors, and enriching the East Gippsland community's vibrancy and cultural richness. "Aligned with the Bairnsdale 2050 plans, this project seeks to create an exciting community space catering to both local and international visitors. It strategically aligns with the Culture and Creativity Strategy 2023 - 2033 and the Bairnsdale Growth Strategy, showcasing the council's commitment to a thriving arts community," Ms Weigall said.

Council is now actively seeking funding through the Regional Precincts and Partnerships Program to propel the project into the design phase. This grant, facilitated by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications, and the Arts, underscores the department's dedication to serving regional communities and investing in their future.

A cornerstone of this development phase, subject to funding, will be continuing to engage with the community addressing concerns of individuals who have felt disengaged in previous stages.

Pictures from East Gippsland Art Gallery website.


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