Crowds turned out in the thousands to watch the 25th Lismore Lantern Parade march down the main streets of Lismore ending in a fiery finale at the Quad in 2019. Photo: Marc Stapelberg
Crowds turned out in the thousands to watch the 25th Lismore Lantern Parade march down the main streets of Lismore ending in a fiery finale at the Quad in 2019. Photo: Marc Stapelberg

The Quad’s future uncertain as funding runs dry

A LOCAL arts establishment known for activating Lismore's creative playground may not be around in six month.

The future is uncertain for the Lismore Quadrangle, funded by Lismore City Council and Southern Cross University.

SCU will not continue to sponsor The Quad once its three-year agreement draws to a close in November.

It is understood the council, which was co-funding The Quad's staff member, has no plans in the 2020-2021 draft budget to fund this position.

Lismore's mayor Isaac Smith recently took to Facebook to respond to public concern about The Quad.

"SCU pulling out was a real blow," he said.

"This is an amazing space that our community really loves. I hope we can find new partners in 2021 when The Quad will hopefully be able to host events again after the 'rona."

Southern Cross University's engagement vice president, Ben Roche, said the university has been a long-time supporter of the arts in Lismore and across the Northern Rivers.

"The University's three-year agreement with Lismore City Council for the Lismore Quadrangle partnership concludes on November 2, 2020," Mr Roche said.

"The impact of COVID-19 has forced us to reassess all our sponsorships. In light of that we have made the difficult decision not to renew the Lismore Quadrangle agreement.

"SCU still enjoys a strong collaborative relationship with council. We continue to deliver the popular Thursday Night Live! initiative as part of our partnership with Lismore Regional Gallery."

Cr Smith also pointed the finger at the global pandemic when responding to council budget cuts.

"We are all facing unprecedented challenges with our budgets, which sadly require unprecedented responses," he said via social media.

"SCU and LCC are stuck in two sectors that have received little to no COVID support from government, so we are pushed to the wall.

"I believe The Quad will be a key focus for our community again, but none of us knows when that can begin again. I'm hoping next year it will become a reality for us to gather again."

Cr Smith is yet to respond to further questions about the future of The Quad.

More to come.



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