Councillor Jacqui Rudge sees enormous potential in a proposal to place a performing arts centre inside the former TAFE building as long as a strong case is made for its financial viability.
The Performing Arts Centre [PAC] group, headed by respected local architect Henry Bialowas, recently penned a letter to Bathurst councillors detailing the benefits such a facility could bring to the local arts sector in the coming years.
Cr Rudge said the proposal has plenty of merit as long as the financial incentive is there.
"A performing arts centre needs to be located in the Bathurst CBD, I certainly agree with that, and the idea of the TAFE building remaining an educational hub has merit as well," she said.
"On the other hand, we need to look at the ongoing costs of the TAFE-building, as it's council-owned, and we need to make sure its financially viable in the long-term, we can't expect ratepayers to keep propping it up."
Cr Rudge said funding from state and federal government would be essential to help bring the building up to code, but believes it shouldn't be a hinderance from further progress.
"We can't just resign ourselves to saying 'there's no money, we can't do it' because with that attitude, we'll never get anything done," she said.
Cr Rudge said the proposal ticks plenty of boxes as far as the cultural vision of Bathurst is concerned.
"You can only imagine performing artists exhibiting their skills in and around the building and public art displays in Ribbon Gang Lane...it'll bring more visitors into the CBD, which could have a flow-on affect on surrounding businesses," she said.
"It's an exciting idea, but the TAFE building is a facility council must take extra care with to ensure we get it right for the entire community."
The PAC group is set to make a presentation to council next month regarding the proposal.
Cr Rudge was instrumental in council's establishment of a Bathurst Public Art Community Peers Register as part of its public art policy.
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