Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has approved an amendment to the Shepparton Planning Scheme to allow the development of the new Shepparton Art Museum to proceed in a timely manner. The Minister for Planning will become the Planning Authority for this project. Council is pleased that the State Government has agreed to assist with the planning approvals for this project.
Once complete, the new SAM is expected to attract more visitors to the region from right around the state and nation, boosting local visitor spending by more than $6 million annually.
Construction of the project will create 72 direct and 109 indirect jobs, injecting $34.5 million into the local economy.
Planning approvals follow a $10 million investment by the State Government to help Shepparton showcase its strengths as a cultural hotspot for the arts. The $34.5m project is also funded by Greater Shepparton City Council, the Commonwealth Government and from philanthropic donations through the SAM Foundation.
The project will see the Shepparton Art Museum relocated to the more prominent and accessible location of the Victoria Lake Park.
The State Government is working to strengthen Shepparton as a cultural destination, creating more local jobs, boosting visitor numbers and attracting business investment and consumer spending in the region’s retail, hospitality and accommodation sectors.
The Shepparton Art Museum will showcase unique ceramics, indigenous and multicultural collections to visitors in turn boosting business for local hotels, cafes and other small businesses.
Greater Shepparton City Council Deputy Mayor, Kim O’Keeffe said the decision was welcomed and will ensure the project can progress quickly to the build stage.
“We are on track to have the former Shell Service Station and café demolished before the end of the year ensuring the two year build can commence in 2018,” said Cr O’Keeffe.
“This is a very exciting project for the municipality and an important one that positions Greater Shepparton as a progressive region not only in the arts world but as tourism destination.”
“Developments such as these instil confidence amongst business that Shepparton is growing and prepared for the future and will attract new investment to the area,” said Cr O’Keeffe.