Shepparton Art Gallery will be able to broaden its exhibits and attract new tourism to the city thanks to a $1.5 million upgrade supported by the Brumby Labor Government.
In Shepparton today to brief the Hume region community on the Brumby Labor Government’s $631 million Ready for Tomorrow: A Blueprint for Regional and Rural Victoria, Regional and Rural Development Minister Jacinta Allan said the upgrade would provide better security, enhance the gallery’s appeal, and allow the gallery to expand its exhibition program.
“The Brumby Labor Government knows that arts and cultural spaces such as the Shepparton Art Gallery strengthen local and regional identities and add to a town or city’s liveability,” she said.
“That’s why we’re supporting the gallery’s upgrade, which will help to boost tourism and local arts interests, with a $900,000 contribution.
“Greater Shepparton City Council will contribute $600,000, and the philanthropic sector $20,000.”
The project involves:
- Installing new lighting;
- Reconfiguring the gallery’s exhibition spaces to be more versatile;
- Constructing a new storage space and new workshop area in the gallery; and
- Upgrading the climate control system.
Ms Allan said the benefits of the upgrade would flow-on to local businesses with the gallery hoping to boost annual visitor numbers from 50,000 to 70,000.
She said the gallery supported 11 staff and 15 volunteers and was highly regarded in Victoria’s network of public art galleries.
“It is home to a quality collection of Australian and international art and a specialist collection of ceramic art, which attracts around 50,000 visitors a year.
“Its emphasis on the ceramics collection is strengthened by the two ceramics awards it offers – the Sidney Myer Ceramics Award and the Indigenous Ceramics Award. These awards are of national significance and attract entrants from across Australia.”
Ms Allan said the $900,000 will be sourced from the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).
“The Brumby Labor Government’s RIDF has committed more than $591 million to more than 380 projects worth more than $1.58 billion in new infrastructure investment in regional and rural Victoria,” she said.
Ms Allan said the Government had topped-up the RIDF by $260 million under its Ready for Tomorrow: A Blueprint for Regional and Rural Victoria, announced last week.
“Over the last decade we’ve put the heart back into regional and rural Victoria,” Ms Allan said said.
“Ready for Tomorrow is about building on that work and driving a new era of opportunity and prosperity in regional Victoria.”
Ready for Tomorrow commits $631 million across five key strategies:
- $110.1 million for Investing in Skills and Young People with a new tertiary education package to deliver more opportunities in tertiary education for young people and to make it more attractive for them to stay in or return to the regions. It includes new targets to increase enrolments and graduates, new infrastructure support to encourage investment in student accommodation and for TAFE and university facilities, leadership and cadetship programs, a new youth strategy and support to develop new regional leaders;
- Backing Jobs and Industry with $99.4 million towards a new action plan to create thousands of new jobs, boost regional industries and help small business. It outlines a commitment to grow government jobs in the state’s regions, drive up skills, training and exports, support farmers, the food and beverage industry and tourism growth;
- $203.9 million for Building Infrastructure, Connecting Communities to provide regional Victorians with world-class infrastructure in water, cleaner energy, transport and industry development, improvements to broadband services, local roads, timber roads, bridges, bus service expansion as well as more affordable housing;
- $158.4 million for Supporting the Regional and Rural Way of Life with funding for sports clubs, cultural activities and community. It includes infrastructure and amenities support for the well-being of older people in small communities, promoting regional Victoria as a great place to live and work, a boost to programs to help landholders manage vegetation with funding available for building performing arts centres, galleries and other civic amenities; and
- Planning Better Regions – A New Partnership backed by $58.9 million to establish a new approach to regional planning and development including significant funding to support the planning and design of regional cities and towns, support for the development of new growth areas in regional cities, support for future planning in coastal areas and local government. It also includes grants to local councils for future planning work and expertise within local councils, fast-tracking projects to help local communities adapt to climate change and support for smaller councils.