6 November 2020

Artists and council revitalise facilities block in Palmer Lane

| Sharon Kelley
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Artists and volunteers celebrate after the completion of mural at Palmer Lane in Merimbula.

Artists and volunteers celebrate after the completion of the mural at Palmer Lane in Merimbula. Photo: Supplied.

Merimbula’s Palmer Lane facilities block has received a vibrant makeover and upgrade after a collaboration between Bega Valley Shire Council, the Bega Chamber of Commerce and Industry, The Disability Trust and two talented local artists.

The bright new look includes a renovated interior with repaired partitions, new doors and painted walls. But the most noticeable upgrade is the colourful mural on the building’s exterior.

Project manager Sean Howle said the new look shows what can be achieved when people and organisations work together to improve local spaces.

Yasmin Threadgate and SueEllen Yates standing in front of the mural.

Artists Yasmin Threadgate and SueEllen Yates in front of the mural in Merimbula. Photo: Supplied.

“The project started with council securing a federal grant to improve streetscapes around the shire,” he said.

“For one of our first projects, we approached Merimbula Chamber of Commerce asking for a list of potential deliverable projects to improve the appearance and amenity of the town’s CBD.

“First on the list was to improve the look and interior of the only toilet block in the commercial zone.

“We got to work on improving the internal functions and worked with the chamber to think about options for the outside.

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“Through a tender process, we engaged the services of local artist Yasmin Threadgate, and The Disability Trust, who worked together to come up with a design reflecting the area’s natural environment.

“Yasmin and SueEllen Yates from The Disability Trust, along with a raft of volunteers, helped to bring the design to life. They have turned a tired-looking building into a fantastic work of art.

“Being in such a prominent position, the artists had a lot of attention when painting the mural, and some great stories came from this.

“A lady came by and said how she had always enjoyed painting together with her mum, who had recently passed away. She was given the opportunity to add to the mural as a memento of this special relationship.”

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Funding for the streetscape project came from the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Program, which is also funding projects in Eden, Bega and Bermagui.

The facilities block was officially reopened with a celebration of the partnership in Merimbula. Project collaborators and the many artists who participated gathered to see the new look building reopened to the community.

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