Design work on Ararat’s landmark arts precinct is underway with Williams Boag Architect announced today as the designer of the project.
The Minister for Regional Development and Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, said the $5.2 million project supported the Andrews Labor Government’s program to strengthen regional industries and economies, boost tourism and investment.
Enhanced facilities will improve Ararat’s potential to attract travelling exhibitions and touring performers and allow more of the gallery’s collection to be on display.
The Government contributed $3.7 million to upgrade the Ararat Regional Art Gallery and the Ararat Performing Arts Centre which is also supported by the Ararat Council, and community contributions.
The project targets Ararat’s long-term economic growth, but also has immediate flow on benefits to regional businesses during construction.
Ararat Rural City Council expects the upgraded facilities to generate five full-time jobs ongoing as well as 19 full-time jobs during construction.
Redevelopment of Ararat’s arts precinct will:
- Improve access to the art collection, exhibition and storage spaces
- New merchandising, box office and performing arts centre foyer areas and a café/bar will be built
- A new exhibition project space will be created by expanding the Graeme Gunn 1978 extension
- The art and craft workshop will be redeveloped as an innovative multi-artform and community hub
- Establishing a new gallery entrance with a prominent highway outlook
- Offices and service areas for the gallery and arts centre will be co-located to enable greater efficiency and resource sharing.
The project reinforces the Grampians Regional Plan by confirming Ararat as the gateway to the Grampians tourism region.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“Redevelopment of Ararat’s arts precinct will enhance cultural opportunities for residents across Western Victoria by offering a better arts and events program than they’ve had access to in the past.
“Supporting projects like these is the aim of the government’s $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund which supports major projects, create jobs and builds stronger and more resilient regional communities.”
Quotes attributable to Cr Paul Hopper Mayor of the Rural City of Ararat
“We were particularly impressed with Williams Boag’s approach to working with heritage spaces like the Ararat Town Hall.
“They are not so much interested in ‘freezing’ the past, but in making it work for the community into the future.”
Reviewed 10 February 2021