A bold vision has been unveiled to create a new civic and cultural arts precinct to revitalise the Bundaberg CBD.
Mayor Jack Dempsey says if funding can be obtained, the visionary project will leave a positive legacy for future generations.
The estimated $55.1 million project includes a new art gallery and a new performing arts centre.
Details are revealed in Council’s 2020 advocacy document, which is being launched soon ahead of the State Election.
“If we can secure funding for a new civic and cultural arts precinct, it will create a vibrant community hub in the Bundaberg CBD,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“The idea is to revitalise the central part of the city and provide a stronger connection with the river through an integrated precinct-based approach.
“Cultural arts facilities are the heart and soul of any community.
“New investments in the precinct will help inspire our city, recognise our past and imagine our bright future.”
In April 2020, Council received $120,000 from the State Government to help prepare the business case for a new Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, as the current building is no longer fit for purpose.
No decisions have been made on land acquisitions or building demolitions. This will only occur after funding sources are identified and consultation with stakeholders.
If it goes ahead, there will be 16 new buildings overall; 1.2km footpaths linking the civic centre/arts precinct to each other, the CBD and the riverfront; public and open spaces; and 270 new trees.
It’s expected to deliver long-lasting social and economic benefits.
The strategic vision states there’s “significant potential” for retaining more local expenditure in the Bundaberg economy “as new cultural, retail and commercial offerings will act as magnets for residents to visit the precinct”.
“Improved business confidence will result from the enhanced amenity, character and identity of the city centre, increasing the attractiveness of Bundaberg for business investment,” the vision says.
“Improved business confidence is also expected to result in greater levels of business growth and job opportunities.”
Mayor Dempsey said state and federal funding applications will be submitted.
“Council is calling on all state political parties, MPs and candidates to support us in making this vision a reality,” he said.