A $4.6 million collections facility will be built somewhere in Bathurst, but come with benefits for the whole region.
Bathurst Regional Council and the NSW Government will each contribute $2.3 million to the project.
The storage centre, to be called the Central Tablelands Collections Facility, will be purpose built to house collections from museums in a manner that will ensure they are preserved.
This includes the necessary climate controls and a dust-free environment.
In addition to storage, the facility will also offer a virtual classroom and learning facility that can be used by regional NSW, and allow for collections management services to be undertaken.
Collections manager Tim Pike said the museums and Bathurst Regional Council had been “chasing funds” for around 10 years.
However, the desire for a facility of this nature went back even further.
More importantly, it can be utilised by all the museums in Bathurst and some outside of the Bathurst region as well.
“All our museums will utilise it, but probably the key to this project is that it will go beyond just us and out into the regions,” Mr Pike said.
He said interest in the facility had already been shown by smaller groups and towns, like Oberon, Lithgow, Hill End and Millthorpe, where there was a greater risk of works being lost.
“We’re lucky in that we’ve got stuff like this that is pretty secure and there’s less risk,” Mr Pike said, explaining that Bathurst had several small places to store collections.
Mayor Graeme Hanger said that a location for the collections facility had yet to be determined, but there were multiple parcels of land considered possibilities.
The important thing, he said, was that the facility would preserve artworks and historically significant pieces for future generations.
“It’s a win for the whole community,” Cr Hanger said.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said this was a unique project and one that would have a home in Bathurst, but benefit many regional areas.
It will be state-of-the-art and nothing like any other museum or gallery.
“This is actually a very, very different facility that is going to be constructed here,” Mr Toole said, adding that Bathurst was already home to great museums.
“This is going to be something that’s even bigger and better than that.”