Acting Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan was in Bendigo today to officially celebrate the start of works on the $8.4 million upgrade of the Bendigo Art Gallery.
Mr Ryan said the exciting project would be a significant boost to the Bendigo Art Gallery, which already has a proud national and international reputation for its high quality exhibitions.
“The Bendigo Art Gallery is recognised, not just locally but internationally, as a key cultural institution and economic driver in Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.
“We only have to look at the most recent major event here, the Grace Kelly: Style Icon Exhibition, which attracted over 150,000 visitors.
“In fact, over the last financial year the gallery has attracted in excess of 250,000 visitors alone, providing a significant economic boost to the region.”
Mr Ryan said the $8.4 million Bendigo Art Gallery upgrade project would include:
· The creation of a new Park Gallery flexible exhibition space;
· A new multi-purpose exhibition space – to be known as the Pavilion Gallery, separated from the Park Gallery by a glazed link;
· A front-of-house/ticketing/gallery entrance works; and
· New on-site storage spaces.
Member for Northern Victoria Damian Drum, who also attended the event, said the much-anticipated project highlighted the great benefits of co-operation between governments and the community to deliver important projects.
“The art gallery upgrade project includes $3.7 million in funding from the Victorian Government, $3.6 million from the City of Greater Bendigo and $1 million from the Bendigo Art Gallery Board/philanthropic contributions,” Mr Drum said.
“The Coalition Government strongly supports arts and cultural pursuits in regional Victoria and the enormous value they bring to sustaining the social and economic viability of the regions,” Mr Drum said.
Mr Ryan said the Coalition’s flagship regional development initiative, the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, was created to support new opportunities in regional and rural areas.
Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541
Peter Ryan MLA
Member for Gippsland South | Deputy Premier
Minister for State Development | Minister for Regional and Rural Development