TALKING with a community about a proposed performing arts facility, sometimes there is "a push and shove" about their aspirations, Rob Gebert says.
"Going through this process, we identify: what is the appropriateness or value or relevance of the facilities that are being proposed to be developed?" he told the Leader.
"Is the vision of the client rooted in reality, or how might that change?"
The arts management consultant is in the thick of researching the viability and costings of such a facility in Tamworth.
And when asked whether the city's vision was rooted in reality, his answer was a firm "yes".
"Tamworth has been thinking about this project for quite a number of years, so a fair amount of thought and conversation has gone into what the needs of the community are, even before we came in," he said.
"There's certainly a great deal of enthusiasm amongst the stakeholders we've spoken to ... there's a belief there's a real need for it and, certainly, the research I've been doing supports that, in general terms."
Mr Gebert, of Rob Gebert Arts Consultancy, is one of a "Holy Trinity" of consultants, as dubbed by council entertainment venues manager Peter Ross.
He, along with Williams Ross Architects' Virginia Ross and Setting Line theatre consultant Craig Gamble, has been engaged to develop a plan and vision for a performing arts centre (PAC) in Peel Street.
In a $200,000 Tamworth Regional Council-commissioned feasibility study, they are now anticipated to hand their report to the council in late May.
Mr Gebert said he'd "lost track" of how many people he'd spoken with, but they included stakeholders in council, theatre, music and education circles.
He said "the demand and the desire and the shortcomings of existing facilities" supported a new centre, which could include a 600-seat main theatre, 200-seat studio theatre and two rehearsal rooms.
The former would benefit touring productions - "Bangarra aren't including Tamworth on their touring schedule because the [Capitol Theatre] stage isn't big enough" - and their audiences: an OzOpera show "sold out something like a month and a half before ... if there'd been more seats, a significant number of extra seats would have been sold".
It would also provide smaller workshopping, rehearsal and performance spaces.
"The dramatic society are doing plays in the Capitol that ... would better suit a smaller, more intimate space and would be a better experience for community members who are performing, as well as for the audience."
Mr Gebert has also been looking at the area's future needs.
"It's clear from all the geographical and economic data available that Tamworth's ... going to become, at the very least, a city of 70,000 to 80,000 people over the next 15 to 20 years; and it's important to build infrastructure, as the population is growing, to service that population."
The consultants' work continues.