COMMUNITY members are being called on to have their say on Coffs Harbour City Council’s new Draft Community and Cultural Facilities Plan 2021-2031.
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The plan provides a strategic framework to guide decision-making about Council’s community and cultural facilities, their use and identify future development needs across the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area (LGA) over the next ten years, including the proposed Cultural and Civic Space project.
Over the next decade the Coffs Harbour region is projected to grow by around 15,000 residents by 2031.
“Demand for a diverse and adaptable range of community and cultural facilities in the Coffs Harbour LGA is growing, driven by population increases and the expanding needs of ageing, socially and culturally diverse communities,” the Plan states.
Council resolved at its meeting on 12 November for the plan to be placed on public exhibition for 28 days, and for a further report to be brought back to Council to present the outcome of the public exhibition process.
The Draft Plan recommends a number of priority projects be planned and delivered across the LGA within the plan’s ten year timeframe.
These include the Jetty Memorial Theatre expansion (multipurpose community and rehearsal space), Cultural collections facility (as part of an integrated storage facility), Moonee Community Hub, Regional Performing Arts Centre/Theatre, Ayrshire Park community meeting space (upgrade), Branch Library network expansion (including Moonee, Toormina and Woolgoolga precincts), opportunities to broker and facilitate fit-for-purpose youth, cultural or creative spaces, and feasibility and concept planning work relating to the above projects and other key sites.
In regards to the Cultural and Civic Space project, the Draft Plan states “the Cultural and Civic Space project will provide a significant addition of community and cultural space to the Coffs Harbour LGA and beyond”.
“The project will provide multi-purpose regional facilities that will enable a broad range of programs and activities to take place in the space,” the Plan states.
“The Cultural and Civic Space project is being designed to combine arts, community and culture to create a lively community, civic and learning hub for a vibrant and active City Centre for Coffs Harbour.”
The Cultural and Civic Space project is planned in a separate delivery program and is not included as a priority project within the new Draft Plan.
Cr Sally Townley supported the new plan and said, “We’re really starting to develop our work in the provision of cultural facilities and planning for them for our community, so I look forward to seeing what comes back from this period of public exhibition.”
Cr Paul Amos, however, said he couldn’t support the new plan while the Cultural and Civic Space project was a part of it.
“The nucleus of this is the Cultural and Civic Space building, everything else runs off it and I think it will take a lot of oxygen away from some of our facilities wanting to do things,” Cr Amos said.
“With that as the centrepiece I cannot support this.”
The Coffs Harbour LGA has a diverse range of community and cultural facilities across 78 venues, from libraries, art galleries and community centres to rural halls, small museums and an indoor theatre venue.
The Draft Plan is now on public exhibition until Monday, 14 December.
To view the plan or to make a public submission about the plan visit Council’s Have Your Say website at https://haveyoursay.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/.
By Emma DARBIN