Narooma School of Arts has applied for a $7.28 million grant from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund to build the Narooma Arts and Community Centre (NACC).
School of Arts vice-president Jenny Hain said the grant would cover design, site works, construction and fit-out, and contingencies.
“The NACC’s design and amenity has been extensively thought through during the past 10 years, and is a development-ready project well supported by our wider community, with development consent from council,” she said.
“Analysis shows the benefits of the Narooma Arts and Community Centre project far outweigh the costs, with major community health and wellbeing, and cultural tourism, benefits.”
Narooma School of Arts owns land and buildings on behalf of the community, valued at $3 million, and manages and enhances them on the community’s behalf for the arts in the broadest sense, including Narooma Kinema, Gallery and Studios.
The grant application is the culmination of hundreds of hours of work by the Narooma Arts and Community Centre’s project steering group, assisted by architects CK Architecture (formerly Clarke Keller).
The steering group was formed in late 2020 to provide appropriate skills, experience and capacity to assist the Narooma School of Art’s committee in making the centre a reality.
Ms Hain said the main Narooma School of Arts’ community covers the area from Tuross Head, Bodalla and Nerrigundah to Bermagui and Cobargo, which were heavily impacted by bushfires from 31 December, 2019, to early February 2020.
“This project meets all assessment criteria for Bushfire Local Economic Recovery funding,” she said.
“The mental, physical and economic impact on the region has been considerable – impacts exacerbated by COVID-19 challenges.
“Our Narooma township played a critical regional evacuation role for more than a month during the bushfires, as it was a relatively safe haven, including as the base for several hundred firefighters and Australian Defence Force personnel.
“We won’t hear for several months if we have been successful, but meanwhile the steering group will be back at work to move this project forward.”