Bega Valley Shire Council went out to tender for the South East Centre for Contemporary Art (SECCA) gallery redevelopment and expansion at its current site in August 2021.
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Project Summary / Background
Bega Valley Regional Gallery (BVRG) is the only publicly funded art gallery in South East NSW.
The Bega Valley Regional Galley is to be redeveloped and expanded at its current site, This follows extensive planning and consultation with the community and the arts sector over the last three years.
The Gallery redevelopment will elevate the 30-year-old facility to contemporary exhibition standards and significantly expand the exhibition space from 180m² to 290m². A new storage facility in line with contemporary museum standards and a significant addition to the facility forecourt, making it more useable for the community also makes up the project.
Council has worked with Sibling Architecture to complete the design. Council went out to tender for the redevelopment works in August 2021, and works began in February 2022, with a targeted opening date of December 2022.
The redeveloped Gallery will comprise two exhibition spaces and one workshop/project space available for hire and house a small gallery shop, providing:
an additional 201sqm of gallery space to the existing 181sqm
industry standard environmental control within gallery and storage space
an additional 36sqm of storage space for the gallery’s historic and growing contemporary collection
a dedicated multipurpose workshop/project space for community art groups
space to deliver high quality educational and access programs for school students, art enthusiasts, professional artists and the broader community.
It will allow access to a wider selection of borrowing institutions, particularly the Art Gallery of NSW, as well as showcase local exhibition artists and provide capacity to host destination exhibitions and unique artistic programming.
The project represents an all-round positive return on investment for the Bega Valley community. This has been estimated at $3.4million annually. Link to economic report?
Besides the obvious social and cultural benefits, the larger Gallery will generate significant economic benefits through increased tourist visitation and the additional expenditure that flows from that, to accommodation, cafes and restaurants and other tourist attractions.
There will also be localised benefits, which include increased participation in cultural activities, better mental health and wellbeing, community cohesion and improved educational outcomes.
Council was successful in securing half of the $3.578 million price tag for the project through the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.
Council continues to seek funding to secure additional funding for elements of the build.