Friday, 11 March, 2016

Warragul is on track to become the performing arts hub of West Gippsland thanks to a $4 million investment from the Andrews Labor Government today towards the West Gippsland Arts Centre (WGAC) Redevelopment Project.

Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing announced the funding towards the $11 million project.

The project will expand the WGAC’s audience capacity from 480 to 750 seats and deliver a number of upgrades to the theatre, foyer and backstage areas.

The WGAC attracts strong audiences to its performances and the theatre’s technical facilities are equipped to a high standard.

Although the WGAC has the capability to stage larger productions, the current low seating capacity restricts the scale of work presented.

The strong projected population growth in Warragul and the surrounding region will increase demand for arts and cultural activities. That is why the Government is making  a major investment in West Gippsland’s cultural vibrancy, liveability and visitor economy.

With the addition of these new spaces, the WGAC will operate as a premium conference centre in Warragul.

It will also provide a space for a new independently-operated Visitor Information Centre and outward facing café.

Once complete, the redeveloped WGAC will employ an additional three full time staff and support a number of new casual positions. The centre will also generate a further six indirect jobs in the wider economy.

The Andrews Government supports the WGAC’s application for Australian Government funding through the National Stronger Regions Fund.

Quotes attributable to the Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing:

“The Andrews Labor Government’s investment will ensure the West Gippsland Arts Centre continues to serve the local community, stimulate tourism and visitation, and attract new talent and resources to the region.”

“This is about putting West Gippsland on the world stage. We believe that regional Victoria has the best of everything, and our investment in the West Gippsland Arts Centre will go a long way to getting our local talent recognised.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford:

“The West Gippsland Arts Centre Redevelopment Project will help promote Warragul as a performing arts destination, increase visitation, and create jobs.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley:

“The West Gippsland Arts Centre reflects the importance of our regional creative industries and helps ensure that all Victorians have access to quality cultural venues.”