The Cultural & Civic Space - for the Heart of Coffs

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What is it? The Coffs Harbour Cultural and Civic Space (CCS project) will combine arts, people, technology and culture to create a vibrant community hub designed to transform our library, museum and gallery into spaces more suited to the Coffs Harbour region's growing role as regional city and tourist destination.

The new building will bring council administration together in one building, including customer service, council chambers and administration offices. There will also be a cafe and bookable community meeting and working spaces.

Why do we need it? In the new building our library, museum and gallery will have 2.5 to

What is it? The Coffs Harbour Cultural and Civic Space (CCS project) will combine arts, people, technology and culture to create a vibrant community hub designed to transform our library, museum and gallery into spaces more suited to the Coffs Harbour region's growing role as regional city and tourist destination.

The new building will bring council administration together in one building, including customer service, council chambers and administration offices. There will also be a cafe and bookable community meeting and working spaces.

Why do we need it? In the new building our library, museum and gallery will have 2.5 to 3 times the space they currently have, with shared spaces and the opportunity to collaborate. The current Harry Bailey Memorial Library is only 40% of the size recommended by the State Library. This means our community does not have access to enough computers, study spaces, meeting rooms, quiet spaces, resources and books.

Our new library will meet State Library guidelines, providing access to books, magazines, personal computers and free wi-fi, as well as a digital media studio, a maker space, a place for young adults to study, play and hang out, and meeting and study rooms for the general public.

The Cultural and Civic Space will also bring together the administration, customer service and decision-making functions of council into a single building to access the benefits of co-locating civic and cultural services.

What are the benefits?

Our new cultural facilities will be for people of all ages and backgrounds and will help to make sure there is equitable access to safe, inclusive public spaces as well as educational and technological resources for Coffs Harbour residents.

Better cultural facilities will attract national quality exhibitions, workshops and events to Coffs Harbour that our current facilities cannot support due to lack of space and facilities. This is exciting news for both the residents of Coffs Harbour and for the people who visit our beautiful city, providing more things to do, see and experience.

The new building will bring our city to life, with studies showing that well-designed cultural facilities such as libraries, museums and art galleries contribute to regional growth by increasing the attractiveness and liveability of an area, as well as supporting business investment in the surrounding areas. When cultural and civic facilities are placed together in a city's central location, they not only activate each other, they breathe life into the whole area.

The construction phase (2021-2023) is expected to generate around 555 direct and flow on jobs including 358 local jobs, injecting $33.3 million dollars into the local economy. When in operation, the new building is expected to generate around $1.8 million per year in increased tourism.

Where is it? The Cultural and Civic Space will be located right in the heart of Coffs Harbour, on Gordon Street, in easy reach of public transport and just minutes’ walk from CBD parking.

What’s happening with the project? Late last year, the development application for the CCS project was approved by the State Government, and the demolition of Gordon Street site was completed.

The project team has spent most of 2020 working on the detailed design for the building, elaborating and expanding the schematic design completed in 2019. Detailed design up until 80% has now been completed, with the final 20% to be completed during construction.

As part of this process, Lipman, the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) builder, who have been assisting the project team with buildability and pricing advice, have submitted their construction offer, which is currently being validated by key members of the project team. Council expects to consider Lipman’s offer in early 2021.

Why are we so excited? This project is an important piece of the puzzle for Coffs Harbour: a major regional infrastructure project at the right time and in the right place. The project represents a place for the community to come together, connecting our past, present and future in a way that supports the growth and progress of our beautiful city and surrounding areas.

Need more information?

  • Project e-newsletter April 2020

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    How we are working

    The Cultural and Civic Space Project team, along with Coffs Harbour City Council and indeed much of the world, has adapted to the changes enforced by the dangers of a global pandemic, switching to social distancing and remote work to keep the ball rolling on what is now an even more important project for Coffs Harbour, particularly in terms of economic renewal.

    To read more: http://createsend.com/t/r-5220929DA8C3ACA72540EF23F30FEDED

  • Fig Tree Arborist Report

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    In January 2019 an assessment of The Hill's Weeping Fig on Riding Lane took place.

    As the Cultural and Civic Space project progresses past the schematic design, and embraces the detailed design of the development – we wanted to revisit and reiterate the protection of the large and established fig tree on Riding Lane.

    The schematic design developed by BVN Architecture includes the tree as a key design element for the building, and the Project Team will be working closely with a number of development stakeholders to ensure the sound treatment of the tree and its roots throughout the site clearing and development stages.

    The tree has been examined by an arborist, is in good health, estimated to be between 70-140 years old, with a predicted lifespan for these kinds of trees exceeding 1000 years.

    The arborist believes that managed well, the proposed development has the potential to result in an improvement in the tree’s health and longevity. You can see the complete report on the downloads page.

    As more information about the site clearing proves becomes available, we will share this with you across all project communication channels.


  • Sale of Coffs Harbour City Council Buildings

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    The process for approving the sale of the buildings began on the 14 June 2018, when Council approved the Business Case for the Cultural and Civic Space – a key part of which was to sell the buildings as part of the funding model for the project.

    In July 2019 Council authorised the sale of four Council properties as part of the motion to progress the Cultural and Civic Space Project.

    The buildings will not be needed once the Cultural and Civic Space is built and the proceeds from the sale of the buildings form an important component of the funding strategy of the new building.
    Over the next week, you will see the For Sale signs appearing in front of the four council-owned buildings earmarked for sale:

    • Rigby House located at 27-29 Duke Street
    • Coffs Harbour City Council Administration Building located at 2 Castle Street
    • The building housing the Coffs Harbour Regional Museum located at 251A Harbour Drive
    • Office buildings at 169-171 Rose Avenue

    UPDATE: At the 14 May meeting, Council requested that a temporary pause be placed on the sale of Rigby House and the Council Administration building, and that a report detailing alternative funding options for the project be brought back to Council. This report is anticipated to be presented in July 2020

  • Cultural and Civic Space e-newsletter March 17 2020

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    Appointment of ECI Builder:

    At the Thursday March 12 Council meeting, the tender recommendation to appoint an Early Contract Involvement (ECI) builder for the Cultural and Civic Space project was put forward to Council. The decision was made to approve the ECI builder tender and engage Lipman Pty Ltd for this phase of the project.

    The involvement of an ECI builder is a method of construction contracting which allows the builder to become substantially involved in the design of a project.

    Want to know more about what an Early Involvement Contract is and how it works to benefit the Cultural and Civic Space? Read on here.


  • Early Contract Involvement or ECI Builder

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    At last week’s Council meeting the motion to appoint an Early Contract Involvement builder (also known as an ECI builder) was passed.


    The involvement of an ECI builder is a method of construction contracting which allows a builder to become substantially involved in the design of a project.


    The benefits of bringing a builder on at this early stage means:


    • Construction smarts are designed into the building

    • The design can be built for a lower cost


    This contract is staged. This means that the builder who is awarded the ECI contract may not necessarily be the one who is awarded the major construction contract later in the year. For the ECI contractor to be appointed as the builder they would need to satisfy Council from a range of perspectives including acceptability of their construction offer and price.



  • Cultural and Civic Space e-newsletter March 6 2020

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    The Cultural and Civic Space project team has been busy working on five new project videos focusing on the benefits of the project. The video topics include the flexible design of spaces, accessibility of the development, upgrading of cultural spaces, meeting the needs of Coffs Harbour as a growing city, and the benefits of including council offices and chambers in the building.

  • Cultural and Civic Space project tenders

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    At the Thursday 13th February 2020 Coffs Harbour City Council meeting, the tenders for the appointment of Project Managers Turner and Townsend, Cost Management Consultant Altus Group, Head Design Consultant BVN Architecture were approved.

    What does this mean?

    The positions of Head Design Consultant and the design team, external Project Manager and Cost Manager are an essential part of the detailed design process which develops the precise detail of the building structure, design, layout and fit out.The approval of the demolition Development Application for 23-31 Gordon Street allows the existing buildings to be removed, preparing the site for construction.

    The Project Manager’s role is to manage the key project consultants (including the architect and their design team, the cost manager and the builder). The PM aims to deliver the project within Council’s approved budget and time frames.

    The Head Design Consultant’s role has two main parts:

    As the project’s architect, create and implement architectural and interior design for the new building, keeping to Council approved budget and time-frames; and

    Manage their design team (including engineers, sustainability consultant, landscape architect and others) and incorporate the builder’s input in their role as design consultant.

    The Cost Manager’s role is to continuously monitor and manage the project’s finances and provide feedback to Council so that decisions can be made regarding project costs.The Cultural and Civic Space project team are excited to have this team on board, and are looking forward to working with them to deliver the building.

  • Cultural and Civic Space e-newsletter February 17 2020

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    PROJECT UPDATE:

    At the 13 February 2020 Council Meeting four motions passed to progress the Coffs Harbour Cultural and Civic Space project.

    The appointment of the Project Manager, Cost Manager and the Head Design Consultant will see the project progress in the detailed design phase. The approval of the demolition Development Application for 23-31 Gordon Street means the existing buildings will be removed to prepare the site for construction.
  • NSW Minister for Local Government response to petition

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    NSW Minister for Local Government’s response following the tabling of petition:

    Have you seen the NSW Minister for Local Government’s response following the tabling of petition by Gurmesh Singh MP in the NSW Parliament regarding the Cultural and Civic Space Project? You can read it here:

    https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/tp/files/76669/Govn%20response%20to%2010000%20signature%20petition%20on%20Coffs%20Harbour%20Cultural%20and%20Civic%20Space%20Project.pdf

  • Cultural and Civic Space e-newsletter January 21 2020

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    Welcome to the New Year! We hope you all had a safe and merry festive season. Our thoughts are very much with those in our community who were affected by the recent bushfires and those in the areas still under threat or recovering from this alarming fire season.

    The Cultural and Civic Space project team are very much looking forward to 2020 and continuing to share relevant and timely information with you about this community project.


Page last updated: 15 September 2021, 11:28