The Regional Performing Arts and Conference Centre will be built in the Gosford CBD with Central Coast Council last night confirming the former Broadwater Hotel at 51-71 Mann Street as the preferred site.
Council owns the former pub – located next door to council’s Gosford office.
It comes with the potential for integration with the proposed regional library to develop a cultural precinct.
Plans for the performance and conference centre now include a car park.
Council Director, Connected Communities, Julie Vaughan, said with the location finalised, staff could lock in a design for the RPACC and work with partners, including the Conservatorium of Music, to ensure it met the needs of the broader community, while still being economically viable.
“We are looking to deliver a 1,000 seat performance space with retractable seating, a fly tower, a much-anticipated orchestra pit, a studio space for smaller performances, and break-out rooms,” Ms Vaughan said.
“Additionally, approximately 450 parking spaces will be constructed, and will be accessible to the general public when not in use by the RPACC – which will tie in nicely with the broader parking strategy for the Gosford CBD.”
$30 million in funding has been promised, in a three way split between the Federal Government, State Government and council, and an additional $2 million has been promised for the construction of an adjoining conservatorium.
Construction is scheduled to start in January 2019 and take 18 months to build with a proposed opening in the second half of 2020.
At the same meeting, the council also decided on how to progress the regional library proposal.
The councillors spent more than two hours debating the issue before deciding to pursue the stand alone library (option one) wholly on Council-owned land at 123A Donnision Street – basically across the road from where the library is now in Gosford.
The proposed building will be redesigned to accommodate possible additional levels of commercial development if further funding is secured.
Ms Vaughan, said there would be a change in the design to future proof the building to ensure it had the potential for more development.
“This helps to ensure this important learning and innovation space that can meet the needs of the community both once it is built and 30 years into the future,” she said.
Mayor Jane Smith said the recent announcement by the Minister of Planning regarding development and activation of the CBD around Kibble Park, meant it was important for council to lead the way in creating an arts and cultural precinct in the city.
“The Regional Library is a catalyst project for the CBD and will become a central meeting point for locals and visitors alike, creating a true innovation centre and drawcard to the city centre,” Mayor Smith said.
Council committed to continue discussions with not-for-profit group ET Australia (which is in the way of option one) to provide accommodation for ET Australia and its tenants within the precinct.