Following a successful community campaign to “Keep it in Bega”, an application for funding for the redevelopment of the Bega Valley Regional Gallery will again move into motion.
After a first round application was unsuccessful, Wednesday’s Bega Valley Shire Council meeting will see councillors vote to have general manager Leanne Barnes move ahead with a more refined application for funding via the NSW Cultural Infrastructure Program.
The majority of the $2.5million redevelopment will come from the program, with bequests and private philanthropy also contributing to the redevelopment costs.
Councillor Jo Dodds said she is pleased the application process is again underway.
“If successful, this proposal will see us continue to improve visitor numbers and experiences,” she said.
“It will also offer the opportunity for additional income streams via the developed facility, and savings via reduced operational costs.
“It all adds up to a great deal more creative bang for less bucks.
“That's a win-win for our shire and our community,” she said.
According to the meeting agenda, one of council’s social and cultural aims of the redevelopment includes acknowledging the Indigenous culture of the region.
Bega resident Trevor Thomas said more community members would visit the gallery if Indigenous culture was permanently incorporated into the building.
“To be honest, we should always have Aboriginal art in the gallery,” Mr Thomas said.
Following a resolution by council on November 22 last year to keep the gallery in Bega, 10 sites were analysed for possible suitability, after which the current gallery site was preferred.
Information contained in the site suitability report remains confidential and classified as “Commercial in Confidence”.
According to the agenda, an “improved design” will aim to increase the value of the gallery as a “cultural offering” for the community, which may include art appreciation and development classes incorporated.
The new gallery will “solidify the region’s reputation as a vibrant, creative and liveable place”, the agenda reads.