The need for a new outdoor performing arts space should be monitored over the next 5 to 10 years, according to a new feasibility study which will be considered at next week’s Council meeting.
The Outdoor Performing Arts Space Feasibility Study was a community initiative funded by the Rotary Club of Bendigo, the City of Greater Bendigo and Regional Development Victoria.
The Rotary Club of Bendigo has been a strong advocate for the reinstatement of a permanent outdoor stage in the lower area of Rosalind Park and presented a request to Council in 2017 for a feasibility study to be undertaken.
The report’s purpose was to investigate the demand and need for an outdoor performing arts space, which also included an investigation of potential sites as well as temporary and permanent options.
The options considered in the report included a flexible outdoor arts space at the Poppet Head site which was estimated to cost approximately $7.9M and a $7.3M arts space facility south of Tom Flood Sports Centre (in the current large parking area and school bus interchange).
Acting Director Strategy and Growth Trevor Budge said this was an important study that looked at the demand for infrastructure to support major outdoor events in the future and to build on Greater Bendigo’s reputation as a vibrant place for festivals and large community events.
“At this point in time, the investigation has not identified a strong demand to justify a significant investment in a new outdoor performing arts facility nor does it recommend investment in mobile or temporary event infrastructures,” Mr Budge said.
“It will be up to Council to consider the report and its recommendation to monitor the demand for a new major outdoor performing space over the next 5 to 10 years.
“Councillors will also consider the report’s other recommendations, which include the installation of lighting at Garden for the Future in White Hills, and the development of a medium scale performance shelter at Canterbury Park in Eaglehawk. The report believes that this will alleviate the high demand on Rosalind Park.”
“Even though Greater Bendigo is experiencing significant growth in the number of festivals, we do have many great outdoor areas such as Rosalind Park and the Bendigo Botanic Gardens that can cater very well for many big events and thousands of people. These include Summer in the Parks, Bendigo Rotary Club Christmas Carols and more recently the Zinda Festival.
“The City contributed $10,000 to the feasibility study and we are grateful to the Rotary Club of Bendigo and Regional Development Victoria for providing additional funds so that a comprehensive report could be undertaken.”