BASS Coast Shire Council is thrilled to announce that it will receive $5mil in Federal Government funding for the construction of the Cowes Cultural and Community Centre.
The $19 million redevelopment of the centre involves replacing the existing centre, with construction anticipated to commence late 2021 and expected to take 12–14 months.
Council has completed Stage 1 of the demolition, which involved the removal of the main cultural centre building.
Stage 2 of the demolition, which includes demolition of the remaining buildings, was anticipated to commence this month.
In June, updated concept designs were released for community feedback, which largely included consolidating several amenities into a single block, as well as relocation of the café and theatre box office.
Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari said that it was an exciting announcement for an incredibly important community project.
“We would like to thank the Federal Government and Ministers, including Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP and Member for Monash, Russell Broadbent MP,” Cr Tessari said.
“We have received fantastic support from the Federal and State Governments for this project, and thanks to this support, we will be able to develop an incredible facility that will bring together the cultural and social aspirations of the local community, encourage visitation and showcase the history and culture of the region.
“After more than a decade of community planning, the centre is now designed and ready to be built. I look forward to council considering a report to award the tender for the construction of the centre at our October Council Meeting.”
The new centre, designed by Jackson Clements Burrows, includes a library, theatre, gallery, café and community hall, as well as meeting and gathering spaces.
“Importantly, during construction, the centre will generate 69 jobs and once built, 30 ongoing jobs and $51.8 million in economic benefit over the life of the project,” Cr Tessari said.
“This impressive facility will rejuvenate the activity centre of Cowes and will become an iconic feature of Phillip Island for generations to come.”
Federal Member for Monash Russell Broadbent said the government’s investment will deliver better facilities and economic opportunities for the region.
“We are backing these projects so local people have the facilities for the future, while creating jobs to boost our economic recovery,” Mr Broadbent said.
“Phillip Island is already a mecca for tourists – not only from overseas, but from Melbourne and right across Australia. It’s a number one tourist destination.
“The new Cowes Cultural and Community Centre will enhance the liveability for locals and present new opportunities for visitors.”
The $5mil funding is through Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Program.