Kiama Arts Centre makes top 10 projects

An artist’s impression of the Centre from Hindmarsh Park

The chances of the long anticipated Kiama Arts & Cultural Precinct gaining funding have jumped, with its inclusion as a top 10 project in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven City Deal prospectus.

The prospectus was developed collaboratively by the four councils, RDA Illawarra, RDA Far South Coast, the University of Wollongong and its Smart Infrastructure Facility, the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Joint Organisation, the Illawarra Business Chamber, the Property Council of Australia and the Urban Development Institute of Australia.

All have agreed the projects proposed in the prospectus are the best for the securing the region’s transformational growth.

Collectively they look ‘to enhance connectivity with Western Sydney and regional NSW, create investment in manufacturing and service industries and capitalise on our visitor economy.

“Having the Arts Centre in the prospectus adds to its status with grant applications,” says Kiama Council’s General Manager, Kerry McMurray.

“The DA is getting very close to being formally lodged.

“Once it is approved it will be ‘shovel ready’, which is a requirement for most State and Federal grants.”

Council has plans to borrow $4 million for the project in its Long Term Financial Plan. It is looking for an additional $3 million in Federal funding and $10 million from the State Government.

The centrepiece of the precinct will be a newly constructed Arts Centre that will incorporate a 220-seat theatre, restaurant and bar, workshop spaces and gallery/exhibition spaces.

The prospectus predicts it will result in a $12.8 million annual injection into the Kiama visitor economy, create 28 construction jobs and additional roles when it is operational.

The revitalisation of Kiama Harbour is also included in the $42 million Blue Highway initiative, to develop a cruise, boating and voyaging network down the coast.

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