THE Andrews Labor Government has given the green light for approvals for the amendment of the Shepparton Planning Scheme to fast-track the new Shepparton Art Museum (SAM).
The museum is already one of Shepparton’s leading attractions, and once the new building is complete, it’s expected to attract more visitors to the region from across the state and nation, boosting local visitor spending by more than $6M annually. Construction of the project will also create 72 direct and 109 indirect jobs, injecting $34.5M into the local economy.
Planning approvals follow a $10M investment by the Labor Government to help Shepparton showcase its strengths as a regional cultural hotspot. The project is also funded by the City of Greater Shepparton and the Commonwealth Government.
Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne said, “This project ticks all the boxes. It’s a big boost to jobs, tourism and the economy, and it’s a great chance for Shepparton to showcase its strengths as a cultural hotspot.”
Greater Shepparton City Council Deputy Mayor, Cr Kim O’Keeffe said the decision was welcomed and will ensure the project can progress quickly to the build stage.
“We are on track to have the former Shell Service Station and café demolished before the end of the year ensuring the two year build can commence in 2018,” Cr O’Keeffe said.
“This is a very exciting project for the municipality and an important one that positions Greater Shepparton as a progressive region not only in the arts world but as tourism destination.
“Developments such as these instil confidence amongst business that Shepparton is growing and prepared for the future and will attract new investment to the area.”