Budget boost to Victoria’s creative heart

Palais Theatre_St. Kilda_editorialThe Victorian Government will invest $202 million to grow the state’s creative industries to give more Victorians access to arts and cultural opportunities, while generating more jobs, sustaining more careers and bringing more visitors, events and exhibitions to our state.

“Arts and culture are at the heart and soul of our state – part of our history and our future. With this Budget, families can enjoy the work of our creative industries, not just in the city, but across Victoria,” says Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley.

“This is not just about the quality of our lives, but the strength of our economy. Creative industries support thousands of Victorian jobs and draw investment and attention from across the world.”

Victoria is the nation’s creative capital, a home for Australian arts, culture, music and screen and design. These industries enrich our lives, building our economy and support thousands of Victorian jobs. The 2015-16 Victorian Budget funds job-creating projects across our state to boost our arts and cultural scene and keep Victoria number one.

$26.5 million in funding will strengthen Victoria’s renowned and diverse independent arts sector, supporting artists, small to medium arts and cultural organisations, education, youth and multicultural arts programs.

The Budget provides $30 million to redevelop the Geelong Performing Arts Centre, a much-loved facility at the heart of the region which needs a new life to attract more events. The redevelopment will include more dance studios, a brand new façade and a conversion of the nearby church into a 150-seat cabaret and music venue.

The iconic State Library of Victoria also receives $55.4 million towards a major redevelopment. Increasing the library’s public spaces by 40 per cent. New features will include technology upgrades so lessons and workshops can be broadcast to schools and homes, and a dedicated new space for families to read and learn together.

The Budget also invests $18 million to help Museum Victoria renew its permanent exhibitions at Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks and the Immigration Museum.  The National Gallery of Victoria’s summer blockbuster season will receive $9 million from government to present exciting contemporary art and design exhibitions.

Victoria’s state-owned cultural assets, which are valued at $2.2 billion, will be safe and sound with $20 million to continue the Arts and Cultural Facilities Maintenance Fund.

Victoria is famous for its live music scene. We’ve produced some of Australia’s most loved artists and built a music industry that sustains hundreds of jobs. The Budget will take our music industry into a new era with $12.2 million in funding for Music Works, supporting the skills of local artists and the expansion of live music venues.

Our  screen and design industries will receive $6.4 million to help Victoria attract more overseas investment, through Film Victoria and signature events such as the Melbourne International Film Festival, Indian and Chinese film Festivals and the Premier’s Design Awards.

More arts and culture are coming to our regions, with the Budget providing $20 million to increase support for regional touring and put the spotlight on the cultural strengths of cities, towns and communities across the state.

The Labor Government will also save the iconic Palais Theatre from decay and disrepair, investing $13.4 million towards an upgrade for the heritage listed building.

For more information, visit: www.premier.vic.gov.au for details.

Image: Palais Theatre, St. Kilda

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