Art and craft centre one step closer

A vision by Ballinas arts community for a sustainable and vibrant arts and crafts centre in the towns historic old council chambers moved a step closer last week.

Ballina Shire councillors unanimously decided to call for expressions of interest for the management of the proposed $1 million arts centre in the old council chamber building in Cherry Street, which will be refurbished.

Ballina Arts and Crafts Centre Incorporated (BACCI) spokesperson Lois Randall had earlier told councillors that BACCI would offer daily volunteer support for the running of the centre gallery, which she said was absolutely critical to its success.

Mrs Randall said she hoped that in the longer term the centre would be sustainable enough to support a paid coordinator and, that an arts professional for curating and organising exhibitions, sales and marketing was also absolutely crucial for the centres viability.

In its report on how the centre and its proposed cafe would be managed, staff said the building could be leased to an external group or operated by council staff.

Funding sources for the project include council contribution of $630,000, a federal Sustainable Regions grant of $355,000 and grants from Arts NSW and Planning NSW of around $85,000.

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