22 June 2023
A $200,000 investment into a proposed redesign and expansion of the Ipswich Civic Centre will progress Ipswich City Council’s commitment to refreshing the city’s cultural centre.
Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chairperson and Division 3 Councillor Andrew Fechner said the funding allocated in the 2023-2024 Annual Plan and Budget would allow council to begin technical design investigations.
“The Ipswich Civic Centre is our city’s premier performing arts space, but at nearly 50 years old, it is well overdue for a refresh to bring it up to current standards and ensure it can continue its role in our city’s heart for decades to come,” Cr Fechner said.
“The $200,000 investment committed in this year’s budget will allow council to get this major project shovel-ready.
“Council will undertake the due diligence and technical design needed so we can be confident in our future efforts to secure capital funding for this major project in the future.”
Plans for a new Performing Arts Centre were put on hold in 2018 by council’s Interim Administration, which was closely followed by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposed centre would have cost in excess of $200 million in today’s dollars, with council deciding in late 2022 to instead progress with investigations into a renovation and expansion of the Civic Centre.
“Ipswich is a rapidly growing, youthful and multicultural city,” Cr Fechner said.
“We need to ensure our social and cultural infrastructure is in place now to support future young creatives in achieving their dreams of performance, art, or creativity – without them having to leave their home city.
“This investment will allow us to complete the work needed to present other levels of government with a comprehensive presentation on why funding for a refreshed Civic Centre is so important.”