West Gippsland Arts Centre redevelopment on track & supporting jobs for the area

Published: 6 July 2017

Construction is well underway on the West Gippsland Arts Centre (WGAC), which will cement Warragul's place as the performing arts hub of West Gippsland.

Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford toured the construction of the new Centre this week with representatives from Baw Baw Shire Council.

The landmark project is supporting 60 local jobs and is backed by a $4 million investment from the Victorian Government.

The $13.4 million project will expand the WGAC's audience capacity from 480 to 750 seats and deliver a number of upgrades to the theatre, foyer and backstage areas.

The significantly expanded auditorium will open up new opportunities for the region to attract large-scale performances and productions, bringing even more tourists to West Gippsland.

The builders have already completed demolition work and begun construction on the auditorium and orchestra pit.

Once complete, WGAC will employ an additional three full time staff and a number of new casual staff. The project will also create a number of new spaces within WGAC suitable for private and civic functions, meaning it can operate as a premium conference centre in Warragul.

It will also provide a space for a new independently-operated Visitor Information Centre and outward facing café. The main entry point will be relocated to be closer to the adjacent Civic Park, which will create better connections between the two public spaces.

The Victorian Government is supporting the redevelopment through its $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, which is making regional Victoria a better place to live, work and do business.

Learn more about the project in the following video.

Video transcript

West Gippsland Arts Centre Redevelopment on Track

[Vision:  West Gippsland Arts Centre aerial view]

[Title:  West Gippsland Arts Centre Redevelopment on Track]

Jaala Pulford - Minister for Regional Development

This project in Warragul is amazing.  It's an almost 13 and a half million dollar project.  Our Government is very proud to be contributing $4 million towards it.

[Vision:  Design model of art centre]

The designs back in the early 1980s had always envisaged this to have features that were never able to be completed at the time.

[Vision:  Inside arts centre seating construction]

So seating is going to be expanded to 750 people.

[Vision:  Orchestra pit construction]

The orchestra pit is as was originally designed.

[Vision:  Jaala Pulford and others looking at construction and chatting to workers - Jaala Pulford speaking]

And it's wonderful to have a look around and to meet some of the people who are working on this amazing project.

[Vision:  Model showing inside art centre - artist's impression of outside]

It's due to be finished in the second half of next year and it's going to be remarkable I think.

[Vision:  Jaala Pulford speaking with staff]

Cr Joe Gauci - Mayor, Baw Baw Shire Council

It's really like a little bit of an oyster here. 

[Vision:  Outside of arts centre - inside construction]

Like nothing seems to be happening on the outside but inside everything's happening.  And they're right on schedule.

[Vision:  Bobcat]

The crew building it are doing a fantastic job.

[Vision:  Worker shovelling - Cr Joe Gauci speaking]

We've got some major milestones about to happen, so we're more than happy with the way it's going along at the moment.

[Vision:  Outside view of arts centre - chalkboard - ropes - posters on wall]

We're very pleased to be supporting this project to give people that wonderful sense of cultural enrichment.

[Vision:  Outside view of arts centre]

People will travel from far and wide to enjoy shows at this amazing centre.

[REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT VICTORIA]

[Speaker:  Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne]