THE state government has come through with the goods, last week announcing it would be contributing $10M in funding support behind the proposed new Shepparton Art Museum (SAM), so long as the Federal Government also pitches in with $10M.
The announcement comes after the Greater Shepparton City Council’s funding application went to the government’s committee meeting in February, with the amount set to be matched by a $10M contribution from council and an anticipated matching of $10M by the Federal Government. The remaining funds of the $34.5M project, as well as a further $8M to finance running costs, will come from the SAM Foundation.
In the coming weeks, Greater Shepparton City Council will be lodging an application with the Federal Government’s National Stronger Regions Fund, in an attempt to secure the required federal funding.
The business case for the project forecasts it will lead to an increase in visitation to the art museum from 36,869 to over 90,000 in three years’ time and up to 100,000 in five years.
Over the construction phase, the project will inject $34.5M in the local economy and create 72 direct and 109 indirect jobs. Once operational, the museum will increase visitor spending in the region by $6.25M per annum and provide 23 direct jobs by year 10.
Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford announced the Regional Development Victoria funding towards the project, also stating that the location choice along Victoria Park Lake was a wonderful idea.
“The current location of SAM is constrained due to size and location.
“I’ve spoken with many people across the community on how important this is.
“This is about helping to create a better place for locals and visitors alike. Redeveloping SAM will greatly enhance Shepparton’s key cultural asset. It will boost the region’s liveability, cultural connectedness within its indigenous and multicultural communities and help to attract new visitors, residents and investors.
“Through investing in Arts and Culture in the heart of the Goulburn Valley, we will boost regional tourism, create more local jobs and put Shepparton on track to becoming a destination of choice for ‘Melbournians.’
“It’s all happening in Shepparton.”
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Dinny Adem said the investment will have a significant positive impact on the economy of our region.
“This announcement has seen a major stepping stone reached.
“A new SAM is a game changer for Greater Shepparton. It will position our region as a strong tourism destination and will attract more visitors, entice more people to live here and draw investors to the area, as well as diversifying our economy.
“We are extremely grateful for the funding and very excited by the Andrew’s Government’s $10M investment towards making a new SAM a reality.
“We congratulate the state government on their vision. As a significant investor they are key to bringing to fruition a unique regional art museum experience, although the new SAM will be much more than an art museum.
“Greater Shepparton is excited to partner with all tiers of government and we look forward to visiting our federal counterparts in Canberra soon to talk them through the merits of our proposal.”