THE new Cowes Cultural and Community Centre, which will provide a $51.8m boost to the Bass Coast economy over the lifetime of the project, is moving forward.

Council is in the process of engaging architects to oversee the development of the new purpose-built centre.

The successful architects will be announced within the next six weeks.

Once appointed, council will work with the architects to engage with the community and stakeholders throughout the design process.

The design process is expected to begin in June 2020 and be completed by early 2021. Construction of the new facility will start in 2021 and is expected to take 12 to 14 months.

The state government has provided council with a $10 million low-interest loan for the project through the Victorian Community Infrastructure Loan Scheme. Further grant and funding opportunities are also being explored.

Bass Coast Shire Mayor Cr Brett Tessari said the continuation of the project is especially important in the current situation.

“The delivery of this key council and community project will help to support a much-needed post-COVID-19 economic recovery,” Cr Tessari said.

“Projects like this will help keep local jobs secure and create new and sustainable employment opportunities for the community, while also instilling a sense of town pride.

“Once built, it will be a dynamic and interactive space, which brings together the cultural and social aspirations of the community and will draw in visitors to showcase the history and culture of the region.

“It will also provide an incredible facility for a huge range community activities and events,” Cr Tessari concluded.

In October 2019, Bass Coast Shire Council committed $19 million to rebuilding the Cowes Cultural and Community Centre.

For more information on the Cowes Cultural and Community Centre redevelopment, visit www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/projects, or contact council’s major projects team on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or 5671 2211.