State Government commits to $1m Lotterywest grant to improve Stirling Street Arts Centre

Exploring the space: WA Premier Mark McGowan met Stirling Street Arts Centre and City of Bunbury representatives on Wednesday for the $1 million Lotterywest grant announcement. Photo: Thomas Munday.
Exploring the space: WA Premier Mark McGowan met Stirling Street Arts Centre and City of Bunbury representatives on Wednesday for the $1 million Lotterywest grant announcement. Photo: Thomas Munday.

In a move designed to improve resources and increase engagement, the State Government has pledged a $1 million Lotterywest grant to the Stirling Street Arts Centre. 

Rain and wind could not prevent WA Premier Mark McGowan from visiting the region on Wednesday, August 29, presenting the City of Bunbury with the $1m cheque in front of city and centre representatives. 

“This is an old but very valued facility here in Bunbury,” Mr McGowan said. 

“Making it better, stronger and more attractive will ensure that more people will want to be a part of the arts and crafts culture in Bunbury.

“Continuing to improve arts and culture in WA is important in making sure people will want to stay and participate in community activities.” 

Bunbury MLA Don Punch thanked Mr McGowan for his commitment, saying: “Art is a very important part of the fabric for our second city agenda for Bunbury.

“This is a really vibrant part of the Bunbury community, so we are really pleased that the Premier has been able to come down and announce Lotterywest support for this development.”

Pleased with the result, the centre’s representatives said the funding would go towards their plans. 

They hope to build two extra multi-purpose studios, a new meeting room, toilets, administration offices, a reception and exhibition space, and kitchen.

The grant will cover the State Government’s contribution, while another $1.4m will be provided by the city and the centre’s committee. 

City of Bunbury Deputy Mayor Jaysen Miguel said the city has a lot of faith in the centre’s upcoming developments. 

“It’s a great asset for our city and has been around for a long time, this building very much needs a tune-up and a revitalisation,” he said. 

“A lot of community groups use this space so it’ll be fantastic to see the new facilities up and running.” 

Stirling Street Arts Centre chair Margaret Perkins said upgrades were required to cater for the exorbitant number of people utilising the facility.

“After 10 years of lobbying, seeing Mr McGowan and Mr Punch here today illicits a feeling of great satisfaction for myself and all of the members,” she said. 

“For Bunbury, I think it is really going to put us on the map in the field of community arts.

“The upgrades will increase our capability to do a range of things.” 

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More than 45,000 people, through 15 art groups, access the centre annually. 

As well as assisting art and craft fans, the centre also hosts the Summer School’s 100 workshops each year.

Through its grant funding program, Lotterywest has provided more than $3.8m to community groups and initiatives across the state since 1988. 

Head to twitter.com/TMundayJourno for more from Fairfax Media’s Thomas Munday.