From Myrtleford to Mildura, the Victorian government is helping transform and activate underutilised buildings and spaces for creative use.
Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos has visited Myrtleford Memorial Hall in Northern Victoria, one of eight spaces across the state that will be upgraded for use by local creatives and communities, through the million-dollar Creative Neighbourhood Infrastructure Support Program (LGA category).
A $150,000 grant will help breathe new life into Myrtleford’s iconic memorial hall which has sat dormant for over 10 years.
The funding will enable Alpine Shire to bring the hall up to current building and accessibility standards, refurbish the auditorium and upgrade the digital infrastructure, transforming the much-loved building into a creative hub for the local arts community.
The Creative Neighbourhood Infrastructure Support Program is about providing artists and creatives with facilities where they can create or present their work, providing new opportunities for them to earn an income and opening up and enlivening creative spaces for the community.
Through partnerships with local government, the program will develop better and more accessible infrastructure for creative industries across the state.
Other funding recipients span regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne, from the activation of a former energy plant building in Dandenong, to the rejuvenation of the Jubilee Hall in Horsham, to converting a shipping container into a mobile exhibition and performance space for the Strathbogie region.
The full list of recipients includes:
- Alpine Shire Council: $150,000 for the Myrtleford Memorial Hall Revival Stage 2
The Myrtleford Memorial Hall Revival Project will redevelop and reactivate Myrtleford’s iconic hall which has sat dormant for over 10 years. The project will restore the hall to current building and accessibility standards, refurbish the auditorium and upgrade the digital infrastructure, which will make the building fit for purpose and deliver a creative hub for the local arts community.
- Corangamite Shire Council: $60,000 for the Mobile Cinema Upgrade
The Mobile Cinema Upgrade program will make upgraded digital screening equipment available for use by local creatives and provide better access for local communities to shared cultural and creative experiences and activities.
- City of Greater Dandenong: $150,000 for the Precinct Energy Plant Building – Interim Creative Activation
The project will fit out the ground floor of the former Precinct Energy Plant building to activate the space and make it available for the production and presentation of creative work across a range of artforms. The industrial nature of the building allows for experimental and large-scale creative exploration.
- Horsham Rural City Council: $150,000 for the Jubilee Hall Rejuvenation
Jubilee Hall Rejuvenation will see a currently under-utilized Council owned facility fully reinvigorated and reactivated with some internal design and amenity improvements. This will occur via a co-designed process with existing and new tenants.
- Melbourne City Council: $150,000 for the CBD Vertical Hub for the Creative Sector
City of Melbourne, through its Creative Spaces program, will establish a new creative hub by taking a long-term lease on a CBD building, refurbishing its spaces and filling the building with arts organisations and creative practitioners.
- Mildura Rural City Council: $70,000 for the Digital Activation - Powerhouse Infrastructure Project
New outdoor digital infrastructure and equipment will enable local creatives to showcase their digital works to the community, visitors and an online audience, and create new revenue opportunities.
- Southern Grampians Shire Council: $150,000 for the Hamilton Performing Arts Centre (HPAC) Auditorium Seating
The Handbury Auditorium accommodates 500 patrons with tiered seating. The current seating is over thirty years old and does not meet accessibility requirements. This project will upgrade the seating to contemporary standards and make the auditorium accessible for people with a disability.
- Shire of Strathbogie: $104,000 for the ARTBOX mobile exhibition
ARTBOX is a new mobile exhibition and performance space that will utilise a converted 20ft high shipping container for creative activity. It will be located on various sites throughout the shire making creative experiences more accessible to the community and reducing barriers to participation.
Minister for Creative Industries, Steve Dimopoulos, said: “Victoria is the creative state, home to more than 300,000 creative industries workers. These projects not only support creative jobs and activities, they breath new life into amazing historic buildings like Myrtleford Memorial Hall.
“This program is just one of the ways we are supporting our talented creatives across the state, while enlivening our neighbourhoods and regions for the benefit of the whole community.”
The Creative Neighbourhood Infrastructure Support Program is an action of the Victorian Government’s $288 million Creative State 2025 strategy. It addresses the shortage of fit-for-purpose, accessible and secure creative workspaces, while creating vibrant creative hubs across Victoria.