Echuca-Moama Arts Initiative has identified Echuca's old town hall, which formerly housed the library, as their top site for a new arts space.By Jess Craig
The old Echuca Town Hall has been officially identified as the preferred site for a new arts space by the Echuca-Moama Arts Initiative.
The town hall, which formerly housed the library, was one of nine potential sites identified by a feasibility study to determine whether or not Echuca-Moama needs an arts space.
The study has identified it would cost around $1
The study was commissioned by EMAI with financial support from Campaspe Shire and Regional Development Victoria in late 2012.
EMAI chairperson Anne Mawson said a key objective of the study was to determine whether or not the development of an arts space for Echuca-Moama was feasible and, if it was, to develop a business case.
‘‘The study will help assist the EMAI committee understand the level of commitment and range of activities or services required for the operation of a successful arts space,’’ she said.
‘‘It will also assist Campaspe and Murray shire councils to justify support for an arts space for Echuca-Moama and the next steps toward development.
‘‘The Echuca-Moama Arts Space will be a showpiece for our towns.
‘‘It will be a regional hub of arts and cultural activity and will provide a focus for and celebration of arts activity.
‘‘It will build pride in the local region and all that it has to offer.
‘‘The arts space will be a place that attracts artists and non artists, locals and visitors alike.’’
Three business model scenarios were prepared as part of the study, based on a number of operating assumptions such as opening hours, number of operational weeks per year and how long exhibitions would run for, as well as a set of indicative fees and charges.
Each of the scenarios assumes an incorporated community committee of management.
The significant difference between scenarios is the level to which Campaspe Shire Council is required or willing to consider partnering with the community and investing in the service.
Each scenario assumes a level of ongoing council contribution to the operation of the centre ranging from $10,000 per annum to $100,000 per annum.
‘‘Even at the highest end of council investment, the contribution is considered very low cost,’’ Mrs Mawson said.
‘‘This is particularly in comparison with the level of contributions made by councils whose facilities were benchmarked for this project.’’
EMAI will present the study’s findings and recommendations at a coming Campaspe Shire Council meeting.
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