At the Council meeting held in Mooroopna, the councillors endorsed the recommendations of the report on the progression of a new Shepparton Art Museum with the project to be included in council’s long term financial plan and strategic resource plan.
Funding for the new art museum will be sourced from Greater Shepparton City Council ($10m), the State Government and Federal Government ($10m each), and $4.5m from the SAM Foundation. The Foundation will also fund an additional $8m to support future operational costs.
The recommendation also included preparation of documentation to progress the proposal with architectural design, construction plans, planning and building permits and an update of the Victoria Park Lake master plan. The documentation will also include modelling for governance and transition from the current SAM to the new SAM, and project timelines and milestones.
Council conducted a public feedback process with 76 per cent of respondents in favour of supporting the business case for a new Shepparton Art Museum. Nineteen per cent opposed the business case and five per cent partially supported the business case.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Dennis Patterson said it was a very important project for Council to look at the possibilities for growing art and culture in the region. “We need to commit as a Council to the next step in the process,” said Cr Patterson.
“I am very conscious of the funding requirements but we have the opportunity to move forward on this project now,” he said.
Greater Shepparton City Council CEO, Gavin Cator, said a new art museum will bring more than an economic boost to Shepparton. “We will also see a unique cultural facility for our diverse community where social equality, citizenship, civic pride and reconciliation will develop,” he said. “A new art museum will create a lot of excitement and optimism for the future.”
“It was really encouraging to see such overwhelming support from individuals and organisations in our community and I look forward to seeing the progression from here,” said Mr Cator.
FACT 1: Five sites were investigated as part of the feasibility study and a further three identified by individuals in the community. Council was briefed on the options and the preferred site by the consultants prior to the Business Case proceeding.
FACT 2: The cost of the new SAM building is estimated as $34.5m. Council's contribution would be $10m. Council would end up owning an asset valued at more than three times this amount. The remaining contributions will need to come from State and Federal government and private donations through the SAM Foundation in order for the project to go ahead.
FACT 3: Council’s contribution to running a new museum will remain steady with the additional cost of a larger facility being funded by the SAM Foundation.
FACT 4: During the two years of construction a new art museum would create economic stimulus of $58.1m for the Shepparton region the equivalent of 181 jobs.
FACT 5: The economic impact of a new SAM by year 10 of operation would be $9.15m while the do nothing option shows a minus $10.3m impact. The new museum will improve the Victorian economy by $19.45m the lion’s share flowing to Shepparton.
FACT 6: The tourism impact of new museum is estimated to generate 23,500 new visitor nights each year and an additional $3.1m spend by tourists in Greater Shepparton and 43 tourist related jobs after 10 years of operation.
FACT 7: The new art museum is designed as a Community meeting place with a grand central hall a private function space for weddings and events a dedicated community gallery a small theatrette for community performances and a roof top garden overlooking Victorian Park Lake.
FACT 8: The new museum is for families and children with an education focus. It would include a dedicated children's gallery, an art themed play-ground, an artist residency space and workshop and would dramatically improve the use of collections and displays as a teaching and learning aid.
FACT 9: The University of Melbourne and La Trobe University have each indicated their desire to support and partner with the new Shepparton Art Museum to improve educational offering and outcomes for students in the region.
FACT 10: 11 million Australians visited art museums/galleries in 2014, 1 million more than went to AFL football.
FACT 11: the SAM building picture featured in print and online is an artists impression only, not a proposal or the final design
FACT 12: The Business Case recommends that SAM is governed as a Company Limited by Guarantee with a skills based board of Directors including two Councillor nominated positions.