The Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney, today announced a $15,000 grant to Surf Coast Shire Council under the Brumby Government’s provincial planning initiative to develop a master plan for a new cultural precinct in Winchelsea.
Ms Tierney said the Winchelsea Cultural Precinct Master Plan would determine the feasibility of establishing a new cultural precinct based around the Visitor Information Centre, historical museum, arts and cultural space, community meeting space, and accommodation for businesses and associated amenities.
“The aim of this project is to provide a detailed business plan for a new cultural precinct in Winchelsea, and assess possible business opportunities that would flow from such a development,” Ms Tierney said.
“With the completion of the Geelong Ring Road, Winchelsea will be in an ideal position to capitalise on its close proximity to Geelong and Melbourne, and to the Surf Coast.
“The town is expected to continue to grow rapidly over the next ten years and will require further community infrastructure to cope with this growth.
“Also, many travellers to Victoria’s south west pass through Winchelsea, and the proposed new cultural precinct would provide opportunities for local businesses to capitalise on passing trade.
“The Winchelsea Cultural Precinct Master Plan will assess the potential economic impact of a new cultural precinct including employment, turnover, estimated tourism expenditure within the area and adjacent shopping centre, marketing opportunities, and potential funding sources from industry.”
Ms Tierney said the development of a new cultural precinct would also complement Winchelsea’s status as a hub for antique traders.
“Winchelsea has a great array of small businesses including a high number of antique and second hand traders, and a new cultural precinct will provide further attractions for visitors and in turn drive significant benefits to the local economy,” Ms Tierney said.
Ms Tierney said that should the Winchelsea cultural precinct prove to be feasible, the first stage of development could result in up to $1 million worth of new infrastructure works in the town to complement continuing development in the central business area.
“This project is an important part of the Brumby Government’s $13.5 million Provincial Planning initiative that is helping many local councils work to attract new investment into our regions,” Ms Tierney said.
“The Provincial Planning initiative is part of Moving Forward, the Victorian Government’s $502 million plan to make Provincial Victoria a great place to live, work, invest and raise a family.”