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27 July 2016

The disused Collingwood tech site is set to become a contemporary arts precinct, with support from the Victorian Government.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley MP today announced $3 million, as part of the Government's Creative State strategy, alongside $4.5 million in donations and $4 million already contributed by the State.

The announcement heralds the next stage of the creative transformation of the former Collingwood Technical School in Johnston Street.

The long abandoned school was given a new lease on life in 2010 when it was earmarked for a new home for Circus Oz. In 2014 Circus Oz moved in to its state-of-the-art new facility occupying 60% of the 10,000sqm site. 

In a partnership, the Government is working with a social enterprise, Contemporary Arts Precincts (CAP) to redevelop the three triple storey buildings, and spaces including a large leafy courtyard.

This will provide a new creative hub and co-working spaces for small-to-medium arts organisations, artists, creative businesses and activities.

In addition to the Government contribution, CAP has received donations from the Danielle and Daniel Besen Foundation, The Myer Foundation and the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation Melbourne.

The Ian Potter Foundation, Marc and Eva Besen and the Harold Mitchell Foundation have each contributed $500,000.     

The contemporary arts precinct is set to be operational by the end of 2018. In the meantime, a range of activities are planned to open up the site to the public, commencing with Open House Melbourne on Sunday 31 July.