- A specific purpose grant of $1.85m from the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF) has been settled for a cultural facility to be established in the Kinglake Ranges.
- The Victorian government has also provided a 5 hectare parcel of land adjacent to the Frank Thompson reserve as a site for this Cultural Facility.
- Ideally the building itself will be an eye-catching design to match the iconic site on which it will be built and also a cost-effective construction.
- The terms of the VBAF trust is such that this funding is allocated for cultural activities and is not available for sporting or other associated projects.
- The Kinglake Ranges Foundation recently secured an agreement with VBAF for the funding and management of the CF. The funding agreement stipulates that the Cultural Facility is to support arts, culture and education in the Kinglake Ranges. This is in response to well documented outcomes of a number of community consultations conducted after the fires.
- The KRF believe that the VBAF grant, whilst sufficient to establish the core facility, does not cover all the proposed activities identified in the community consultations. For this reason a design which allows for a phased development and later additions will be the aim.
- The KRF has begun to involve the community widely in the process of planning the use of the Cultural Facility and the local cultural activities which will be supported by the project. A sustainable business plan for the ongoing coverage of costs and maintenance for the building will rest on this detail.
- While the range of activities supported by the Cultural Facility within our community is still being negotiated with community groups, some possibilities include:
- Providing a large event space, capable of catering for several hundred people to accommodate public community meetings, art exhibitions, and visiting performances. To a lesser extent, the facility might also be hired for private functions.
- Providing good telecommunications to support a study centre for primary and secondary and tertiary students and support open learning for adults. These proposals will need to mesh with programs of the schools, Neighbourhood House and Ellimatta. It might even be possible to bring some elements of secondary course delivery onto the mountain in addition to subjects done at the existing colleges.
- Putting together a combination of attractions for visitors such as Parks displays, local art, and a regional history museum as a new attraction to help draw people up to the Kinglake Ranges.
The timeframe for the construction of the Cultural Facility is roughly as follows:
Winter 2014- development of the master plan and building design
Spring / Summer 2014- tendering out of work
Late Summer 2014- site preparation
Spring / Summer 2015- construction of building.
SO WHERE TO FROM HERE?
The KRF has begun a series of planning sessions in which the detail of activities to be supported by the cultural centre can be brought together with community stakeholders. The outcomes of these sessions will flow into the preparation of a business case for the facility, and into the architectural design process. These planning sessions will be widely advertised.
Alternatively, any member of the community who wishes to participate may lodge contact details with KRF directly.
THE KINGLAKE RANGES CULTURAL CENTRE WILL NOT BE HAPPENING
It is with great regret that Kinglake Ranges Foundation announce that the Kinglake Ranges Cultural Centre project has been called off.
The KRF has recently been informed by the VBAF panel that the $1.8m funding agreement is to be terminated, meaning that the project can no longer proceed. The Panel’s reasons for taking this action are as follows:
- After reviewing the plan provided by KRF, the panel was of the opinion that it was unlikely to be delivered within the available funding.
- While commending the efforts of largely volunteer community members in putting together the business and marketing plans for the project, the panel had concerns regarding the long-term sustainability of the facility.
- Considerable time had passed since the project was initially approved, and notwithstanding the effort by the KRF and others to progress the project, the Panel now seeks to apply the funding to current and emerging local needs.
- The panel was aware of the differences of opinion which existed about the project, both in the wider community and within the group working on the project, and felt that this would be a further threat to its’ viability.
The VBAF panel has indicated that it intends to utilise the funding for alternative proposals within the Kinglake Ranges communities and will undertake a strategic process to determine what they will be.
The KRF would like to take this opportunity to thank those community members who contributed constructively to the preparation of the KRCC proposal.