Kiama Arts Precinct edges forward

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Jamie Cole is one of four artists currently showing their work at the Old Fire Station. He is very keen for the arts precinct to eventuate.

Last week Council decided to proceed to the design stage for the redevelopment of both the Joyce Wheatley Community Centre and the Old Fire Station as the first elements of an arts precinct.

This was despite uncertainty over when the ambulance station is to be relocated from its Hindmarsh Park site. With the ambulance and the temporary toilets still in the mix, the design team would be restricted in its options for the Old Fire Station.

Given this, The Bugle approached Gareth Ward about the timeframe for the promise he made earlier in the year to move the ambulance.

He confirmed the service will be relocated within a set period. “There was a $5 million commitment made during the election campaign, and the Kiama Ambulance Station relocation and upgrade will be delivered during this term,” he said.

This is good news for people who are becoming disheartened at the slow pace of the process to give Kiama much needed arts space.

In May 2014 architects BHI assessed the suitability of various locations around Kiama to house a Kiama Arts Centre. Ideally, the Centre would not only have galleries, but artist studios, teaching areas, and all the auxiliary facilities.

The site analysis showed that these facilities and more could be incorporated into the Hindmarsh Park precinct.

Cultural Board chairman Mark Wilmott says he is pleased Council has budgeted to move ahead with drawing up plans.

“We can’t apply for funding until we have the plans for the sites, so the sooner we start the better.”


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