A recently approved $76.5 million cultural and civic centre has been dubbed the new 'focal point' for Coffs Harbour’s creative industry.
Despite the controversy surrounding the plans, a $76.5 million cultural and civic centre in Coffs Harbour has been approved. Located on Gordon Street, the new building will house the city’s regional gallery, central library, regional museum and become home to the council’s customer service support team and council offices.
Already dubbed the new 'focal point' for Coffs Harbour’s creative industry, the project will also offer a multipurpose meeting and rooftop terrace for community use—a co-working space, maker space and digital creative studio.
“This is a public community facility that will stand the test of time and will help our youth gain the necessary skills and knowledge they need to thrive as our regional city grows,” said Coffs Harbour mayor Denise Knight. “It will improve access to educational resources, art, culture, history and creative facilities site.
“Now that the application has been approved, we will be continuing the development of the detailed design for the new building, which is nearing the 80 percent completed stage,” Knight continued.
The decision on the project, identified as a State Significant Development, had been fast-tracked earlier this year by the newly created Planning Delivery Unit (PDU) who were directed to prioritise project delivery in regional NSW where necessary in order to reduce bottlenecks and create needed construction jobs.
The council has planned to fund the construction by selling four of its buildings, including its existing offices, and applying for a loan from the state government’s financial authority, TCorp. The total construction cost for the Cultural and Civic Space project is budgeted at $76.5 million, with $46 million forecast to be borrowed by council.
Demolition works on the cultural centre site began earlier this month with council eyeing a possible construction start date in early 2021 with a completion date billed for 2022.