A PERFORMING arts centre proposed for Tamworth would include two theatres, a recording studio, a café/restaurant and an open-air rooftop event space.
The centre would be built behind the gallery and library, and is part of a vision to develop a performing arts precinct in the city’s CBD.
The proposal is part of the region’s draft Keychange 2017-2027 Community Strategic Plan, which will now go into a 28-day exhibition period.
Tamworth Regional Council entertainment venues manager Peter Ross, and councillor and Tamworth Regional Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee chairman Glenn Inglis, made the announcement yesterday after the council signed off on the draft plan at the previous night’s meeting.
Mr Inglis said the proposal was “in a very early phase, with funding, design, consultation and planning strategy discussions expected to continue over the next two to three years”.
“Our ultimate goal is to have the facility completed and ready to open in 2023, which aligns with the end of the current lease period for the Capitol Theatre.”
Mr Inglis said the build cost was unknown at this stage, but the council intended to get the proposed centre “shovel-ready” to capitalise on opportunities for government funding.
The facilities would include a 600-seat main theatre, 200-seat studio theatre, two rehearsal rooms and a meeting room.
Mr Ross said this would not only support local groups but also attract national and international productions, and mid-scale conferences.
“All this contributes to the social and cultural fabric of the city, and plays an important role in the city’s economic growth, and ultimately it makes Tamworth – with a regional centre of arts excellence – a rich and diverse liveable city.”
Mr Inglis said there were more than 115 cultural groups, and 10,000-12,000 people, involved in the performing arts in the region.
He said the council intended to consult with the major users of the proposed centre, as well as education providers, to position Tamworth as a performing arts centre of excellence.
“The proposed location is ideal ... within easy walking distance to our playgrounds, retail stores, restaurants and parks. Ultimately, the exciting thing is that this would be a community asset that gives the region what it deserves and needs for the next 50 or even 100 years.”