Construction tender and additional funding awarded for Arts Precinct redevelopment

Sam Shalders

Posted Thursday 13 April, 03:58pm

The Ararat Arts Precinct has taken a major step forward with Ballarat-based building firm, Nicholson Construction, appointed to deliver the cultural hub, with construction set to begin this month.

The news comes as Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford announced a further $1.5 million for the project, on top of the Andrews Labor Government’s existing $5.2 million investment.

Ms Pulford met with Ararat Rural City Council Mayor, Cr Paul Hooper, and confirmed that the $7.735 million project would create 19 construction jobs and five full time jobs once complete.

“Victoria’s arts and cultural scene don't just stop on the edge of Melbourne. This announcement well and truly puts Ararat on the map as a cultural, performing arts and tourism destination not to miss,” Minister Pulford said.

“Through our investment, we’re breathing new life into the historic Town Hall building and reactivating an iconic building in Ararat.”

Ararat’s historic Town Hall will be redeveloped, enhancing the Ararat Performing Arts Centre (APAC) and the Ararat Regional Art Gallery (ARAG), both housed in the building.

The project includes:

•          A new public entrance to the Ararat Regional Art Gallery

•          Expanding and enhancing art gallery and performance spaces

•          Upgrading public amenities

•          Upgrading the Ararat Performing Arts Centre foyer and a new box office

•          A new café and bar

•          Landscaping upgrades.

Welcoming the additional funding, Cr Hooper said he was delighted with the level of support the project had attracted.

“Very early on, the Minister and her colleagues have recognised the importance of this vision, not only for Ararat, but for regional Victoria,” he said.

“It’s incredibly heartening to note the support we have received from Government and also from the broader community, all of which is helping bring the vision to reality.

“Today’s announcement marks another crucial milestone in this project

“We are tracking according to schedule and expect to see on site works underway later this month.”

All existing spaces will be refurbished to make them accessible for people of all abilities. New glazing, insulation and climate controls will be installed to maximise building efficiency, and improvements will be undertaken to the loading bay, car parks and driveways.

The enhanced facilities, along with expanded display and storage spaces, will further Ararat’s reputation as a cultural tourism destination, capable of developing and attracting ambitious, blockbuster programs.

It will increase the town’s ability to attract major exhibitions and nationally recognised performers to the region, providing a boost to the local economy and creating jobs.

Construction will begin this month.