Construction is well underway on the West Gippsland Arts Centre (WGAC), which will cement Warragul’s place as the performing arts hub of West Gippsland.
Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford toured the construction of the new Centre today with representatives from Baw Baw Shire Council.
The landmark project is supporting 60 local jobs and is backed by a $4 million investment from the Andrews Labor Government.
The $13.4 million project will expand the WGAC’s audience capacity from 480 to 750 seats and deliver a number of upgrades to the theatre, foyer and backstage areas.
The significantly expanded auditorium will open up new opportunities for the region to attract large-scale performances and productions, bringing even more tourists to West Gippsland.
The builders have already completed demolition work and begun construction on the auditorium and orchestra pit. Once complete, WGAC will employ an additional three full time staff and a number of new casual staff.
The project will also create a number of new spaces within WGAC suitable for private and civic functions, meaning it can operate as a premium conference centre in Warragul.
It will also provide a space for a new independently-operated Visitor Information Centre and outward facing café.
The main entry point will be relocated to be closer to the adjacent Civic Park, which will create better connections between the two public spaces.
The Labor Government is supporting the redevelopment through its $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, which is making regional Victoria a better place to live, work and do business.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Regional Development
“This marks another important milestone in making Warragul the performing arts hub of West Gippsland – and that’s great news for local talent and visitors alike.”
“Our $4 million investment in the project will ensure that West Gippsland Arts Centre continues to serve the local community, while also stimulating tourism and creating local jobs.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley
“The West Gippsland Arts Centre reflects the importance of our regional creative industries and helps ensure that all Victorians have access to quality cultural experiences.”
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“It's fantastic that community enthusiasm continues to build in Warragul as the next chapter in creating this stunning new performance and exhibition venue finally gets underway.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020