The adoption by Council of Coffs Harbour’s Cultural Policy and Creative Coffs – Cultural Strategic Plan 2017-2022 has underlined the central role of arts and culture in our region.
“Arts and culture are key elements of a community. It’s crucial to the way we identify with ourselves and others and it’s vital to the liveability of our area and our well-being,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Denise Knight. “Our creative industries and cultural tourism are very important economic drivers that have the potential to build our local economy and our reputation as a North Coast regional centre. I’m delighted to see the Plan moving forward.
“The vision of the Policy and Plan is to be a blueprint for a vibrant and creative Coffs lifestyle enriched by its natural beauty, diverse people and capacity for innovation.”
The final Policy and Plan were developed after significant stakeholder consultation and a wider community exhibition period from December 2016 until the end of January 2017.
One of the five goals of the plan is to create and maintain vibrant cultural and public spaces. Strategies to meet this goal include the next planning stages for both a new central Library and Regional Gallery and a Performing Arts Space.
There will be a two-step process starting in April 2017 to assess the Performing Arts Space needs and viability, given the wide range of views in the community. The first step will include an issues and options analysis to define the needs, size and purpose of the facility. This will include an expression of interest process to identify and explore options for public/private partnerships and assess existing venues for expansion or redevelopment opportunities.
The options for a location for a potential Performing Arts Space will be considered in the second step of the process.
A precinct analysis and the outcomes of further investigations for the new central Library and Regional Gallery site at 23-31 Gordon Street will be the subject of an upcoming Council report.