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Council vote for Lake site for new Gallery

14 December 2018

Council has resolved to progress future planning and detailed site assessment on the delivery of the new Hamilton Art Gallery at the southern end of Lake Hamilton.

The decision, made at last night’s meeting, took into consideration the Architects recommendation as well as the extensive community feedback on the two proposed sites and ruled out further consideration of sites within the Hamilton CBD.

Southern Grampians Shire Mayor Cr Mary-Ann Brown said she was confident Council had made a decision that was in the best interests the entire community.

“The Lake offers the opportunity for a city-defining building to put Hamilton on the map, attracting visitation from Melbourne and interstate, creating a ‘world class’ destination,” Mayor Cr Brown said.

“This location allows us to develop the Lake as an attractive new cultural precinct for Hamilton, creating dynamic outdoor spaces that engage families and tourists and providing opportunities for investment in hospitality, accommodation and leisure experiences linking back to the CBD.

“Housing our new Gallery on the banks of the Lake also allows us to demonstrate all the natural beauty and ambience our region has to offer, taking in views of the Grampians and our waterways, and also allows us to properly showcase the Lake, which is one of our most valuable assets,” Mayor Cr Brown said.

Mayor Brown acknowledged concerns surrounding moving the Gallery from the Hamilton CBD, but explained that Council’s CBD Activation Master Plan, which is now underway, strives to address these concerns.

“The Master Plan for the CBD activation is well advanced, with consultants Jenson Plus being awarded the tender for the project which includes strategies for the revitalisation of Lonsdale St, Gray St, Melville Oval and associated laneways.

“Attracting additional investment to the CBD is a priority to Council and the public investment in these spaces is expected to assist in activating private investor activity in these spaces.

“There is great potential for different precincts within the Hamilton CBD to offer a range of diverse spaces and experiences for locals, workers, visitors and tourists and the Activation Master Plan will look to address these.

“The work already underway on the $4 million Cox Street gateway will transform the entrance into the CBD and will support the connection between the CBD and the surrounding tourist and community precincts, including the Grangeburn and Lake Hamilton.

“We are a long way from seeing a Gallery built at Lake Hamilton, but having made a decision, Council are now in a position to consider options for the existing Brown St precinct and what that might look like in the future. The CBD Activation Master Plan will inform these discussions and ensure that we create a strong sense of place in the Hamilton CBD, while supporting further growth.

Hamilton Gallery Director Sarah Schmidt said she respected and appreciated a decision had been made and thanked all Councillors for their careful consideration of the matter.

“We appointed renowned experts to make a detailed study. Their investigation has been extremely thorough and well researched. This now ushers in the business-planning stage of the project which will carefully evaluate the economic impact. This is a project about injecting money and development into Hamilton, and attracting funds and tourism to Hamilton. It is about increasing our role and space for community usage at the Gallery, especially as a resource for schools and providing workshop spaces for hands-on art activities at the Gallery for people of all ages. This project will broaden the ways in which people interact with the Gallery and its incredible collection,’ said Sarah.

The next stage of the Art Gallery process is to develop fully-costed designs of a new facility and all associated engineering and technical assessments in order to prepare a business case for funding applications. Council will consider any and all funding streams for the Gallery development, including Regional Development Victoria, the Building Better Regions Fund and Community Investment streams of the Federal Government.


Alison Quade
0429 601 208

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