The Cultural & Civic Space - for the Heart of Coffs

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The Cultural and Civic Space will be a central hub for residents and visitors in Coffs Harbour. The development will house larger and improved cultural facilities including the library, gallery and museum.
This welcoming and multipurpose space will also include Council offices and chambers, as well as co-working and event spaces for community hire and use.
The Cultural and Civic Space will become the Heart of Coffs Harbour as our city centre continues to develop and improve, to meet the demands of our increasing population of residents and visitors.

PROJECT TIMELINE

In 2016 Council unanimously endorsed the Gordon Street site as the preferred location for the new library and gallery and resolved to undertake a detailed precinct analysis, consider the inclusion of the regional museum and to investigate mixed and civic uses for this site in order maximise the location.

In 2017 Council endorsed Creative Coffs – Cultural Strategic Plan and the Precinct Analysis to progress through to the concept design phase. At this stage, the Council offices were included in the scope.

Between December 2017 and March 2018, a comprehensive stakeholder and community engagement consultation and information campaign asked stakeholders for feedback on three separate concept designs.

At the June 2018 Council Meeting the report detailing the Concept Business Case and outcome of the community engagement on the three concept designs - to identify key features that people wanted incorporated in the new building - was endorsed to progress to the next stage; a single schematic design. At this point, the Regional Museum was also included in the project.

In early 2019, broad community engagement was undertaken on the preliminary schematic design created by BVN Architecture.

The outcomes of the consultation were incorporated into the final schematic design report which was presented to Council in July 2019.

The 25 July Council Meeting was adjourned until 8 August 2019.

At the 8 August Council Meeting the Councillors resolved to proceed with the Cultural and Civic Space Project by: 1. Allocating full project funding of $76.52 million, 2. Lodging a development application, 3. Disposing of the nominated properties 4. Procuring the build through a two stage design and construct contract.

At the 13 February Council Meeting, the Councillors approved the tenders for Project Manager, Head Design Consultant and Cost Manager. The demolition DA for 23-31 Gordon Street was also approved.

As a result of this decision, and the appointment of these key contracts, the detailed design phase of the Cultural and Civic Space project officially began.

Coming soon: 50% Design Development Report and result of the State Significant Development Application (SSDA)


The Cultural and Civic Space will be a central hub for residents and visitors in Coffs Harbour. The development will house larger and improved cultural facilities including the library, gallery and museum.
This welcoming and multipurpose space will also include Council offices and chambers, as well as co-working and event spaces for community hire and use.
The Cultural and Civic Space will become the Heart of Coffs Harbour as our city centre continues to develop and improve, to meet the demands of our increasing population of residents and visitors.

PROJECT TIMELINE

In 2016 Council unanimously endorsed the Gordon Street site as the preferred location for the new library and gallery and resolved to undertake a detailed precinct analysis, consider the inclusion of the regional museum and to investigate mixed and civic uses for this site in order maximise the location.

In 2017 Council endorsed Creative Coffs – Cultural Strategic Plan and the Precinct Analysis to progress through to the concept design phase. At this stage, the Council offices were included in the scope.

Between December 2017 and March 2018, a comprehensive stakeholder and community engagement consultation and information campaign asked stakeholders for feedback on three separate concept designs.

At the June 2018 Council Meeting the report detailing the Concept Business Case and outcome of the community engagement on the three concept designs - to identify key features that people wanted incorporated in the new building - was endorsed to progress to the next stage; a single schematic design. At this point, the Regional Museum was also included in the project.

In early 2019, broad community engagement was undertaken on the preliminary schematic design created by BVN Architecture.

The outcomes of the consultation were incorporated into the final schematic design report which was presented to Council in July 2019.

The 25 July Council Meeting was adjourned until 8 August 2019.

At the 8 August Council Meeting the Councillors resolved to proceed with the Cultural and Civic Space Project by: 1. Allocating full project funding of $76.52 million, 2. Lodging a development application, 3. Disposing of the nominated properties 4. Procuring the build through a two stage design and construct contract.

At the 13 February Council Meeting, the Councillors approved the tenders for Project Manager, Head Design Consultant and Cost Manager. The demolition DA for 23-31 Gordon Street was also approved.

As a result of this decision, and the appointment of these key contracts, the detailed design phase of the Cultural and Civic Space project officially began.

Coming soon: 50% Design Development Report and result of the State Significant Development Application (SSDA)


  • Thank You from Mayor, Cr Denise Knight

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    about 2 years ago

    Thank you to all of you who took part in the recent survey to give feedback on the concept design ideas for a new Cultural and Civic Space in the heart of Coffs Harbour. In her regular column in The Coffs Coast Advocate, Cr Denise Knight, Mayor said;

    "It was great to see that so many people took the time to have their say on the three concept designs for the proposed Cultural and Civic Space project.

    "This proposed project is an important catalyst within the Coffs Harbour City Centre Masterplan 2031 and will establish a core cultural and civic precinct for the social and economic benefit of our community.

    "Hundreds filled in surveys, took part in focus groups and gave us great ideas, suggestions and explored important issues. Council will now review your feedback. We will carefully consider the various options and recommendations before moving forward.

    "Thank you for joining me on this exciting journey towards creating a strong, vibrant, healthy and sustainable regional city".

    Read the full column online.

    Subscribe for project updates to keep up to date with the progress of this project.


  • Ask me why. Why are we doing this?

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    over 2 years ago

    by Mayor Denise Knight

    IT'S NO secret that I am passionate about what a new library, gallery and civic space will mean for the future of our city.

    This project is part of a bigger picture for our area. We are a growing Regional City and we need to plan for the future. 

    Around 40% of our community are library members, so clearly libraries are important to us. Our library has no dedicated space for our HSC students to study and is only 40% of the size recommended by the State Library of NSW. Allowing our community access to new technology, new ways of learning, and new ways of working is essential, these are the things that will grow our city.

    Creative industries are a key driver of economic success. The Bendigo Art Gallery for instance generates $20 million dollars annually from the visitor economy, similarly MAMA (Murray Arts Museum Albury) opened in 2016 and surpassed $9.66m in its first year of operation. We can achieve similar success here.
    Why have we included the Council?

    Council staff are part of our community they are your friends, neighbours and family, they volunteer at your child's soccer club, they are part of the SES and the Rural Fire Service. Co-locating these facilities will make Council staff more accessible to the community and we will be able to deliver services more efficiently.

    The concept designs do not include a new council chamber, but do propose a multi-purpose space that can be used by the whole community for events, talks, celebrations and Council meetings.
    Where we are in the process?

    We are now at the conversation and feasibility study stage and fully expect to revaluate once the business case is developed and presented to Council for consideration.
    We want to hear what you like and don't like about the three concept designs and if you feel the project will help us achieve our vision for the future of our City. 
    Getting the design right is important as we want to create a vibrant and welcoming community hub that says "come on in".

    How will we make a decision?
    There will be a number of pauses during the project so that we can evaluate the cost versus benefits as well as available budgets and funding arrangements. The proposal to combine our facilities allows us to look at selling existing assets such as Rigby House and our Customer Service Centre to help pay for the proposed new building. When we receive the full information and business case we will evaluate and assess our options.

    It is an exciting project come with me on this journey, have your say, register at https://haveyoursay.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/cultural-and-civic-space to have your say and receive regular project updates.

    Click here to read the full release.
  • Community Invited to Help Create City’s Heart

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    over 2 years ago

    Coffs Harbour’s community is being asked to help shape the proposed new central library, gallery and civic space for the CBD.

    “The primary focus for the new building is that it should be inclusive – so what better way to underline that goal than in getting the community’s involvement in deciding how it looks and operates,” said Acting Mayor Councillor George Cecato. “We want locals to tell us what they like the most and like the least about three very different concept designs – or put forward their own ideas. We can then distil those choices into a brief for a new, detailed design. That detailed design will then be put out for further community input.”

    Videos, images and other information concerning the design process will be available via Council’s haveyoursay.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/cultural-and-civic-space portal from Monday, March 5. The community has from Monday, March 5, until Sunday, March 25, to provide feedback on the concepts.
    The new building, which is to be built on the site of 23-31 Gordon Street, is proposed to incorporate:
    • A new state-of-the-art central library and regional gallery.
    • A multi-purpose civic and meeting space.
    • A café and co-working space.
    • Council customer service area and office space.
    “The new ‘Cultural and Civic Space – For the Heart of the City’ is a major focus for our overall strategy to transform the CBD into a vibrant, busy destination that draws in locals and visitors alike,” added Cr Cecato. “As a local businessman, and a member of the Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce, I know how vital it is to the overall local economy to have a viable and dynamic CBD.

    “Having an attractive facility that incorporates a modern library and gallery, a youth area and digital media studio, exhibition space, workshops and makers studios, public art, a café, small events space and technology resources, means people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities have a reason to visit.

    “We want a new cultural heart for our city that is inclusive, appealing and welcoming to all.”
    The community feedback and financial feasibility will be considered by Council at the end of this exhibition period so that the project can proceed to detailed design.

    Click here to read the full release.
  • Library Lovers Share Their Excitement

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    over 2 years ago

    New Library and Gallery for Coffs HarbourOur current library in Coffs Harbour is only 40% of the size it should be for our growing population. A new central library will be bigger, better and brighter with meeting, study and youth spaces and modern technology for the whole community.

    This is exciting news for everyone.

    Make sure you register on this site to keep up to date with the planning of the new ‘Cultural & Civic Space – For the Heart of the City’.

    Don’t miss out on your opportunity to give feedback on the architectural concepts for the new facility when they become available soon.


  • Local Artists and Educators are Getting Excited!

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    over 2 years ago

    Our community is getting excited about a new central Library, Art Gallery and Civic Space for Coffs Harbour. Here's what what some of our local artists and educators have to say.

    Make sure you register on this site to keep up to date with the planning of the new ‘Cultural & Civic Space – For the Heart of the City’.

    Don’t miss out on your opportunity to give feedback on the architectural concepts for the new facility when they become available soon.

    Cultural and Civic Space for Coffs Harbour - Artists and Educators

  • What's Coming - Our Community Is Getting Excited!

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    over 2 years ago

    Our community is getting excited about a new central Library, Art Gallery and Civic Space for Coffs Harbour. Have a look at what some people have to say about the proposed new facility.

    Keep an eye out for these flyers around town in the new year.

    Make sure you register on this site to keep up to date with the planning of the new ‘Cultural & Civic Space – For the Heart of the City’.

    Don’t miss out on your opportunity to view concept designs when they become available in 2018.



  • EOI for Vacancies - Library & Gallery Planning Advisory Group & Cultural Reference Group

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    over 2 years ago

    Advisory Group Vacancies

    Council is seeking expressions of interest from community members to fill the following vacancies:

    · 1 x Library & Gallery Planning Advisory Group (LGPAG) member

    · 2 x Cultural Reference Group members

    The LGPAG is a key reference group for the development of a proposed Cultural and Civic Space (including library/gallery) in the CBD.

    The Cultural Reference Group provides advice relating to the implementation of Creative Coffs – Cultural Strategic Plan 2017-2022. See.http://www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/our-community/Pages/arts-and-culture.aspx

    Appointment is a selective process in order to achieve diverse community representation and not all applicants are ensured appointment. Council may also choose to directly invite people who can bring particular skills to the group. Individuals will not be appointed as representatives of any organisation but in their own right.

    For further information and nomination forms please go to http://www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/coffs-and-council/publicnotices/Pages/EOI-Advisory-Group-Vacancies.aspx

    Applications close 5pm Friday 24th November 2017

    For enquiries, please contact Siân Nivison on 6648 4081 or sian.nivison@chcc.nsw.gov.au.

  • Request for Quotation - Architectural Design Services for Concept Designs

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    almost 3 years ago

    REQUEST FOR QUOTATION NO: RFQ-898-QO – ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN SERVICES

    Quotations are invited to engage suitably qualified and experienced organisations to provide preliminary concept design services for the Cultural and Civic Space Project.

    A quotation package and further information can be downloaded at www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/publicnotices

    Quotations must be submitted by email no later than 5pm on Friday 17th November 2017.

    Enquiries should be directed to Sian Nivison on Ph (02) 6648 4081 or email sian.nivison@chcc.nsw.gov.au.


  • Cultural and Civic Space – For the Heart of the City

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    almost 3 years ago

    Plans to bring the new CBD cultural and civic space to life are moving forward quickly so Council has launched an online portal to keep the community informed and up-to-date on progress.

    “The new ‘Cultural and Civic Space – For the Heart of the City’ is a major focus for our overall strategy to transform the CBD into a vibrant, busy destination that draws in locals and visitors alike,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Denise Knight.

    “We want to see Coffs Harbour’s city centre rival the best that the metropolitan cities can offer.”
    In June 2016, and then in May this year, Council endorsed the project to develop the old Salvation Army building in Gordon Street into a new Library and Gallery, with the addition of Council Chamber, office accommodation and Customer Service Centre. This followed a thorough investigation of 11 possible locations within the City Centre Masterplan area.

    “Some people have asked why the new facility has to be in the city centre,” said Cr Knight. “First of all, current best practice in urban planning says that having a cultural precinct in the heart of a city centre is vital. They bring life, vibrancy, cultural and economic benefits to areas that can otherwise be lifeless outside business hours – and it brings the cultural community into the heart of the city too.

    “A city centre location is also important because it offers convenience – you can shop, use services, eat, exercise and enjoy a cultural experience – all in one visit. Plus the new building will be just two minutes’ walk from City Square, parking and public transport.

    “Having a facility that incorporates a modern library and gallery, a youth area and digital media studio, exhibition space, parking, workshops and makers studios, public art, a café, small events space and technology resources, means people of all ages and backgrounds have a reason to visit. It will also incorporate the most up-to-date ways of providing access for people with limited mobility.
    “We want a new cultural heart that is inclusive, attractive and welcoming to all.”

    Click here to read the full release.

  • I'm Passionate and Proud of it

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    almost 3 years ago

    by Mayor Denise Knight

    I WROTE about the progress on the "Cultural and Civic Space - For the Heart of the City" in my last column but I hope you'll forgive me for coming back to it again.

    My excuse is I am so passionate about what a new library, gallery and civic space will mean for the cultural and overall lifestyle of the city that I must spread the message.

    In June 2016 and then in May this year we, as a council, endorsed the project to develop the old Salvation Army building in Gordon St into a new library and gallery, with the addition of council chambers, office accommodation and a customer service centre.
    This followed a thorough investigation of 11 possible locations within the City Centre Masterplan area.
    There were a number of reasons why we concentrated on the CBD.
    First is that best practice in urban planning says having a cultural precinct in the heart of a city centre is vital.

    They bring life, vibrancy, cultural and economic benefits to areas that can otherwise be quite dead outside business hours - and it brings the cultural community into the heart of the city too.
    Another reason was a cultural facility to draw people into the CBD is a vital part of the City Centre Masterplan and is crucial in achieving that plan's goal of activating the city centre as a community and visitor destination.

    Being inclusive
    In addition, having a facility - which incorporates a modern library and gallery, a youth area and digital media studio, exhibition space, workshops and makers' studios, public art, parking, a café, small events space and technology resources - means people of all ages and backgrounds have a reason to visit.
    It will also incorporate best practice access and facilities for people with limited mobility and older people.

    A city centre location is important because it offers convenience - you can shop, use services, eat, exercise and enjoy a cultural experience all in one visit.
    It's about being inclusive and welcoming to all members of the community and region.
    That's a view shared by many people in the community.

    We know this because it was the message from the community and our advisory committees following the extensive consultation we undertook on these facilities.
    As with so many aspects of life, we can achieve great things by working together.

    If we pull in different directions, we might miss out on wonderful opportunities.
    Can you see the opportunity? I can.

    by Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight

    Click here to read the full release.