Performing Arts Spaces (Indoor and Outdoor) - Issues and Options Paper

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Jetty Memorial Theatre seats (replaced)

The issue of performing arts spaces in the Coffs Harbour area has been considered by Council and the community over many years. There have been different proposals and plans over many years for various types of facilities in several locations. The City Centre Masterplan 2031 identifies the CBD area for entertainment and performing arts infrastructure. Although there is strong demand for additional performing arts space there has not been a widely agreed set of characteristics in relation to the size or purpose of facilities.

This project and the associated research has been identified in Creative Coffs - Cultural Strategic Plan 2017-2022 and through resolution of Council.

Issues and Options Paper for Perfuming Arts Spaces (Indoor and Outdoor)

A draft ‘Issues and Options Paper’ was prepared in 2019 to look at current local performance venues and their capacity to fill community, cultural and economic needs and this was placed on public exhibition between 18 December 2019 until 28 February 2020.

During that time, community consultation workshops and drop-in information sessions led by independent consultants were also held. A total of 25 public submissions was received along with feedback from sector stakeholders.

The feedback supported the construction of an Indoor Regional Performing Arts Centre with a capacity of between 600-1000 seats. This sized venue is considered the most viable to attract and accommodate a larger range of touring acts and performances, hold special local performances and provide reasonable economic returns.

A feasibility study to find the most suitable location, operational and financial model for an Indoor Performing Arts Centre for Coffs Harbour will be the next step taken by Council after the Final ‘Issues and Options Paper for Performing Arts Spaces’ Council Report was adopted unanimously by Councillors at the 10 September 2020 Council Meeting.

It is anticipated that construction of a new, fit-for-purpose, regional Indoor Performing Arts Centre will take around six years to plan and build and cost between $50m to $60m at 2019 construction costs. It is anticipated that the annual running costs would be between $850,000 and $2m.

There was agreement that the current outdoor spaces available as performance venues locally are adequate for that use as they offer a wide variety of options.

The role the Jetty Memorial Theatre plays for smaller-scale indoor performing arts and other events was also considered. It was agreed that Council continue plans to retain and expand the Theatre to develop a larger multi-purpose community and rehearsal space that meets local arts and community venue demand.

Councillors agreed to progress the project to the next stage and begin work on a Feasibility Study to determine the most suitable location within the City Centre, operational and financial model for an Indoor Regional Performing Arts Centre.

This page will provide the next steps about this project and how to stay informed during the next Feasibility Study phase.

The issue of performing arts spaces in the Coffs Harbour area has been considered by Council and the community over many years. There have been different proposals and plans over many years for various types of facilities in several locations. The City Centre Masterplan 2031 identifies the CBD area for entertainment and performing arts infrastructure. Although there is strong demand for additional performing arts space there has not been a widely agreed set of characteristics in relation to the size or purpose of facilities.

This project and the associated research has been identified in Creative Coffs - Cultural Strategic Plan 2017-2022 and through resolution of Council.

Issues and Options Paper for Perfuming Arts Spaces (Indoor and Outdoor)

A draft ‘Issues and Options Paper’ was prepared in 2019 to look at current local performance venues and their capacity to fill community, cultural and economic needs and this was placed on public exhibition between 18 December 2019 until 28 February 2020.

During that time, community consultation workshops and drop-in information sessions led by independent consultants were also held. A total of 25 public submissions was received along with feedback from sector stakeholders.

The feedback supported the construction of an Indoor Regional Performing Arts Centre with a capacity of between 600-1000 seats. This sized venue is considered the most viable to attract and accommodate a larger range of touring acts and performances, hold special local performances and provide reasonable economic returns.

A feasibility study to find the most suitable location, operational and financial model for an Indoor Performing Arts Centre for Coffs Harbour will be the next step taken by Council after the Final ‘Issues and Options Paper for Performing Arts Spaces’ Council Report was adopted unanimously by Councillors at the 10 September 2020 Council Meeting.

It is anticipated that construction of a new, fit-for-purpose, regional Indoor Performing Arts Centre will take around six years to plan and build and cost between $50m to $60m at 2019 construction costs. It is anticipated that the annual running costs would be between $850,000 and $2m.

There was agreement that the current outdoor spaces available as performance venues locally are adequate for that use as they offer a wide variety of options.

The role the Jetty Memorial Theatre plays for smaller-scale indoor performing arts and other events was also considered. It was agreed that Council continue plans to retain and expand the Theatre to develop a larger multi-purpose community and rehearsal space that meets local arts and community venue demand.

Councillors agreed to progress the project to the next stage and begin work on a Feasibility Study to determine the most suitable location within the City Centre, operational and financial model for an Indoor Regional Performing Arts Centre.

This page will provide the next steps about this project and how to stay informed during the next Feasibility Study phase.

  • On Wednesday 12 February, 2020 Council conducted two workshops to hear feedback from the community and stakeholders. Hawkridge Consultants delivered the workshops with Council staff present. Drop-in information sessions with Hawkridge consultants and Council staff were held on Monday 10 Feb and Wednesday 12 Feb at Cavanbah Hall, Coffs Harbour.


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  • CLOSED: Submission period has concluded.

    Writing a submission is one way of sharing your views and opinions with Council. All submissions are considered and your submission will be included in a report to Council. Submissions close 28 February 2020.

    In order for Council to consider electronic submissions each submission must:

    a) contain legitimate contact details;
    b) be received by Council during the submission period; and
    c) be correctly or ‘properly’ made to include the proposal title and reasons for the submission.

    Submissions which do not satisfy the above criteria may not be considered. Further details can be found in Council's Submission Policy.

    Council is committed to openness and transparency in its decision making processes.  The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 requires Council to provide public access to information held unless there are overriding public interest considerations against disclosure.  Any submissions received will be made publicly available unless the writer can demonstrate that the release of part or all of the information would not be in the public interest.  However, Council would be obliged to release information as required by court order or other specific law.

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