On the 10th of September, 2020 Coffs Harbour City Council unanimously adopted the ‘Issues and Options Paper for Performing Arts Spaces (Indoor and Outdoor)‘ delivered by Hawkridge Entertainment Services.
The project initially reviewed current Council policies and documentation, the demographics of the LGA, design and operations trends in cultural infrastructure and the overall market in Coffs Harbour. Subsequently an analysis of the demand, review of specific sites, cultural sector liaison and benchmarking formulated the draft paper.
The draft ‘Issues and Options Paper’ that looked at current local performance venues and their capacity to fill community, cultural and economic needs was put out for public comment from 18 December 2019 until 28 February 2020. During that time, community consultation workshops and drop-in information sessions led by independent consultants were also held.
The final report provided information and recommendations for both outdoor and indoor performing arts spaces that will assist Council to:
- Confirm community and stakeholder needs analysis data and research;
- Benchmark examples of the size, purpose and costs of comparable indoor facilities;
- Identify a range of options for potential sites that could be expanded or redeveloped, including high level construction and operational costs;
- Identify options for public/ private partnerships and other models of infrastructure delivery;
- Benchmark examples of outdoor performing arts venues and options for infrastructure provision;
- Recommend local sites in priority order of suitability for outdoor performing arts spaces and scoping of high-level infrastructure and operational costs.
The Issues and Options Paper for the Performing Arts reported on the following:
- The outcome of discussions with stakeholders and the community;
- A review of key documentation;
- The results of the review of cultural spaces in the Coffs Harbour region; including options for discussion/consultation;
- Benchmarking against other LGA’s performing arts infrastructure in regional NSW;
- Review of trends in the design of performing arts infrastructure;
- Recommendations for Council;
- An outline of the next steps for the development of a performing arts venue.
Council agreed to progress the project to the next stage and begin work on a Feasibility Study to determine the most suitable location within the City Centre, operational and financial model for an Indoor Regional Performing Arts Centre.