Arts precinct funding finalised
The final piece of the funding puzzle for the $55m Karratha Arts and Community Precinct has been formalised with construction slated to start in the second half of 2016.
With industry, Lotterywest and Federal Government funding already secured, the $14m Royalties for Regions commitment was the final and largest grant among the $29.5m in external funding to be approved.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said arts and culture was the heartbeat of communities and needed to be supported.
“Having a 450-seat facility to be able to cater for theatre, live shows and the like is really important and adds the final piece of a jigsaw for building a community,” he said.
“Here we are right now looking at a comedy festival from Melbourne coming into what is essentially a basketball court.
“That doesn’t cut it in a modern city — getting a facility to cater for that is really important.”
Mr Redman said local indigenous culture and larger shows, which may otherwise overlook regional WA, would be well supported by the new facility.
City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the precinct would be “transformational” for arts and culture in the North West.
“We are very excited to be able to provide a home for arts and culture right in the heart of the Pilbara,” he said.
“This facility will be transformational for the City, providing a permanent home for fantastic events like the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow and an opportunity for expansion of the arts and culture services currently available in the region.”
Pilbara Development Commission acting chief executive Trish Barron said the facility would contribute to the economy and improve liveability.
Terry Redman, centre, with comedians and stakeholders in the Karratha Arts and Community Precinct.