Plans to significantly expand the Orange Regional Gallery have been boosted with the state government providing further details of its $100 million budget allocation for regional arts and culture.
Costings and plans for the extension, which would the double the storage space and increase display space, are currently being determined.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said at the gallery on Monday he was confident Orange would get a reasonable share of the available money.
“$100 million for regional NSW, that is to build new facilities, to extend existing facilities, that’s also for equipment and for program funding to run a range of different programs across regional NSW,” he said.
“We want to see some of the great works being displayed right across regional NSW.
“Here in Orange you have an award winning gallery.
“This place gets about 25,000 visitors a year and that’s great for tourism, and when tourism is going strong that’s great for the economy and it’s great for jobs.
“When you’ve already got a footprint in this space, in this particular gallery, the gallery here is seeking funding for an extension.
“Of course there is more here, the conservatorium [of music] project, there is so much here in Orange and I am confident that Orange will be a beneficiary of those funds.
“It puts you in a very good position, in what is a competitive sector, for your fair share.”
VIDEO: Orange Regional Gallery director Brad Hammond
Gallery director Brad Hammond said they had outgrown the storage capacity.
He said expansion plans would increase display space from 704 square metres to 1100 square metres while storage space would rise from 206 square metres to 423 square metres.
“We’re looking to expand our collection capacity by about double the space and this will enable us to collect going forward for future generations,” he said.
“We’ve been working with the original architects that built this award winning building back in 1986 and they’ve come up with a beautiful design, we’re very confident we can get this project up and running.”
He said the building would be expanded to the north into existing parkland.
The arts have become a focus for tourism.
“Cultural tourism is really growing, we are seeing many people travel to Orange to see our gallery collections,” Mr Hammond said.