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Council adopts grand design for Cowes centre

Bass Coast Shire Council endorsed a concept design for the Cowes Cultural and Community Centre at this week's Ordinary Meeting.

The chosen design, Concept Design Option 1, includes an expanded multi-purpose community hall to 320sqm, accommodating 250 seats and a 200 person theatre, enlarged innovative library, art and craft spaces, lifelong learning experiences including dedicated space for PICAL, spaces for genealogical and historical societies and council customer and visitor services.

Council, however, also resolved to extend the community hall to 360 sqm to accommodate 300 seats should additional funding become available through fundraising, grants or reduced tender costs, as well as further investigate the issue of fixed versus retractable seating during the detailed design phase.

Thompson Ward Councillor, Andrew Phillips, said the planned redevelopment of the Centre will transform the current civic buildings and offer a range of activities consistent with contemporary cultural and community centres.

“It will be a dynamic, interactive centre that provides a venue focussed on community activities and events,” Cr Phillips said.

“As part of a broader precinct, including a transit hub, all day carpark, health and medical hub and proposed aquatic centre, it will be a bustling community hub.

“The redevelopment will improve and increase services to a growing population, add value to the visitor experience and be a catalyst for further economic investment.”

At the meeting, Council also endorsed the revised Cowes Revitalisation Project funding strategy and will now seek $5.5 million from the Federal Government through the Natinoal Stronger Regions Funding Program, and an additional $5.5 million from the State Government through the Regional Development Victoria Regional Infrastructure Fund.

Council has already committed to a $5.25 million contribution to the project, which is supported by an additional $250,000 from the San Remo District Bendigo Community Bank.

The project is planned to be delivered by November 2018 to commemorate Phillip Island’s 150th anniversary.

Upon confirmation of funding from the State and Federal Governments, Council will also enter into contracts for the detailed design and construction of the Jetty Triangle and Transit Centre, as well as the Cultural and Community Centre.