Facelift underway at hills’ cultural centre

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Transformed galleries, studios and performance spaces are on their way for Burrinja Cultural Centre in Upwey, following construction beginning on the centre’s $3 million redevelopment.

Construction began on the redevelopment, which will include extensive works to the interior of the centre, in June and works are expected to be completed in mid-2020, with arts programming and café service to resume shortly after.

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Tony Stevenson, said the redevelopment will update the centre’s main entry, galleries, studios, café and music performance space, as well as the black box multi-purpose space on the first floor.

“Ask anyone in the arts community across the hills and they’ll tell you, Burrinja is central to the area’s cultural identity,” Cr Stevenson said.

“It’s a home for performing and visual arts, a hub where people can meet, learn about and experience art in a world-class setting, here in Yarra Ranges.

“Burrinja has been around for quite a while, and includes areas of the original Shire of Sherbrooke Council offices, so this redevelopment will give the building a face lift and an internal fit out, so visitors will find the spaces to be more functional, accessible and able to offer the community even more in coming years.

“As an added benefit, we estimate that 14 jobs will be created from the works and when finished, this redeveloped centre will serve the community for decades to come.

“The theatre at Burrinja will stay open during the works and continue to offer its outstanding program, so I encourage all of our residents and visitors to keep supporting this fantastic venue as we help to make it even better.”

The redevelopment has been funded with $1.25m from the State Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund, which was matched by Council. Asset renewal and environmental sustainability funding will make up the remainder of the $3m project cost.

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