Brush stroke of approval for new Regional Gallery

The Sunshine Coast is a step closer to having a much-needed new regional gallery, thanks to a transformational creative arts and cultural project taking place in a popular beach side suburb.

 
Brush stroke of approval for new Regional Gallery

The Sunshine Coast is a step closer to having a much-needed new regional gallery, thanks to a transformational creative arts and cultural project taking place in a popular beach side suburb.

Sunshine Coast Council unanimously endorsed the detailed business case for a new Sunshine Coast Regional Gallery in Caloundra at today’s Ordinary Meeting (August 24).

The business case will now be used as the foundation document to develop a funding strategy and advance conceptual designs this financial year.

Sunshine Coast Council Division 2 Councillor Terry Landsberg said the new Regional Gallery was a key component of the vision for the Caloundra Community and Creative Hub precinct and would be an important cultural facility for the whole Sunshine Coast region.

“The benefits of investment in the new gallery are considerable in terms of generating economic activity in Caloundra and the wider Sunshine Coast region, increasing cultural awareness, improving sense of place and enhancing community development through increased liveability and public amenity,” Cr Landsberg said.

“A comparative and integrated analysis of the shortlisted options considered throughout the business case determined that the preferred location for the new regional gallery is the existing library site.

“This option uses part of that site, enabling us to preserve Felicity Park with the potential to create a significant town square and expanded open and public space.

“The revised location provides optimum pedestrian and visual connections throughout the precinct, protects existing vegetation and focuses back-of-house and loading functions away from open spaces, minimising impacts on the public realm and proposed new town square.

“It also allows the continued operation of the current gallery throughout a construction period and retains land capacity for potential collocated mixed-use development in the future.

“We acknowledge there are many competing funding priorities so it’s important to note Council has only endorsed the business case and the location of the new gallery at this stage.

“The business case will guide future planning and design of the new gallery and acknowledges the potential sources of future funding support the project will need from other levels of government or through philanthropists.

“With current Council funding secured only to progress further planning and conceptual design, other significant external funding will be essential to deliver the facility in the future. Having the project shovel ready will put us in a good place to seek future grant funding.”

Councillor Landsberg said the business case and creative hub highlighted the regional importance and benefits of investing in the arts.

“There is significant potential and opportunity to revitalise and increase capability and reach of the arts sector on the Sunshine Coast while creating sustainable and resilient cultural infrastructure,” Cr Landsberg said. 

“As well-loved as the current 23-year-old gallery is, the facility faces increasing challenges in terms of attracting and hosting exhibitions and tours, generating commercial opportunities and sustainable revenues, plus stimulating and supporting economic development and growth in the region. 

“The proposed new gallery will address these shortcomings and provide a massive boost to the cultural experiences offered in the region.

“The business case will guide future planning and design of the new gallery and acknowledges the potential sources of future funding support the project will need from other levels of government or through philanthropists.

“With Council funding secured only to progress further planning and conceptual design, other significant external funding will be essential to deliver the facility in the future.”

Community Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said the business case approval was an important first step to deliver on the Regional Arts Infrastructure Framework 2019–2041, which responds to the needs of our community by providing a network of transformational arts infrastructure across our region.

“Approving the business case places us in a much better position to prepare a funding strategy to guide approaches to potential funding partners including state and federal governments and philanthropists,” Cr Baberowski said.

“Until we have certainty on cost and funding there will be a need to stay somewhat flexible in the detailed design of the proposed gallery.

“Obtaining the funding will allow us to achieve the functional and design outcomes required to ultimately position our region as a nationally competitive cultural destination.”

The development of the new Regional Gallery occurs within the context of the Caloundra Centre Master Plan, Caloundra Centre Activation Project and the Community and Creative Hub Precinct and is a deliverable of the Sunshine Coast Creative Arts Plan 2023-2038 and Regional Arts Infrastructure Framework 2019-2014.

To read more about the detailed business case, visit Council's website and search for “Caloundra Centre Activation Project”.

FAST FACTS:  Caloundra projects benefiting our community

New Caloundra district library and community space

  • The three-storey building will include a contemporary district library, a customer service centre and community spaces and Council administration and councillor offices.
  • The refurbishment of the building is expected to start in the coming months, with completion scheduled for 2025.
  • Upon completion approximately 150 staff will work in the new state-of-the art building

Caloundra Transport Corridor Upgrade

  • New transport corridor to improve connectivity and travel choice into Caloundra CBD
  • The 1.6 km road upgrade and new extension is being delivered between Omrah Avenue and Nicklin Way, Caloundra
  • The upgrade encourages active and sustainable transport, including walking, cycling, electric vehicles and public transport.

Caloundra Community and Creative Hub

  • Improved open space for people to enjoy and discover arts, creativity and community.
  • Extended shady and green landscaping to cool and crate a welcoming space.
  • A place which connects spaces and civic buildings with accessible events.