New Lismore gallery back on the agenda

It's not just for kids anymore. A new plan could give Lismore a proper gallery and a new town square behind the Northern Rivers Conservatorium.
It's not just for kids anymore. A new plan could give Lismore a proper gallery and a new town square behind the Northern Rivers Conservatorium. Cathy Adams

A TOWN square and brand new gallery is on the horizon for Lismore if a $3 million Federal Government funding application due next month is successful.

Built on council land behind Lismore City Library and the Lismore Conservatorium, the proposed arts and culture precinct would feature a brand new 400sqm exhibition space for Lismore Regional Art Gallery.

Extensive landscaping of the land bordered by the library and gallery would also see the creation of a major public gathering and green space complete with an outdoor stage.

Council is seeking roughly $3 million under Round Four of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF), worth $175 million, of which $40 million is guaranteed for arts and culture projects.

The Lismore City Hall upgrade and the extension of Ballina Airport both won funding under round one in 2011.

Lismore City Council strategic property project manager Lindsay Walker said project would create a regionally significant art gallery capable of hosting touring exhibitions, including the popular Archibald Prize.

The 400sqm exhibition space would more than triple the size of the current 120sqm gallery on Molesworth St, and would be attached to a refurbished C Block to be used for storage.

"The new gallery will not only deliver for Lismore, it will also provide arts and culture to a much wider community, integrating Lismore Regional Gallery with Grafton and Tweed galleries," Mr Walker said.

"It significantly improves the gallery's ability to attract major exhibitions in terms of space, security, and providing an adequate dehumidifying system."

The project would also provide a major focal point for the community.

"This will revitalise and deliver open space to the CBD," Mr Walker said.

As the grant requires a dollar for dollar contribution, council would provide an in kind contribution via the value of a refurbished C block, worth an estimated $2.7 million, the sale of the $400,000 Molesworth St property, and $270,000 in other funds already earmarked for the gallery.

Topics:  art, conservatorium, lismore city council



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