A cafe, expanded retail outlet and events space will help a proposed new Warrnambool Art Gallery generate its own income.
A whole new gallery is on the cards for the facility that is "bursting at the seams", but a decision on whether to build a new facility at Cannon Hill or at the Civic Green is up in the air.
The project is also yet to funded but before lobbying begins, the council is calling on the community to back one of the two sites.
In 2018, the art gallery revealed it was bursting at the seams, and work began on coming up with some bold new ideas for a redevelopment with $150,000 secured for a feasibility study.
The gallery underwent a $750,000 revamp almost two years ago in a bid to protect its $7.7 million collection, which prior to COVID drew in up to 50,000 people a year.
Warrnambool mayor Cr Richard Ziegeler said the move to review the gallery's strategic direction was brought about by the challenges now being experienced in the existing building.
"The intention is also for a building that would allow the WAG to generate its own income through an expanded retail outlet, café and space for events," Cr Ziegeler said.
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"Due to limited space the WAG can show only a small fraction of its permanent collection, it does not have an appropriately sized, purpose-built space for its unique collection of Aboriginal artefacts and art work and nor does the existing building provide scope to generate a reasonable income.
"A new building would not only be culturally enriching for the city, it would also allow the WAG to generate income while a revitalised gallery would be an economic driver as it would attract people to Warrnambool."
Consultation was carried out in April as part of the feasibility study which explores the advantages and disadvantages of a new building for the art gallery at either the current Timor Street site or a new site at Cannon Hill.
"We need to know how the community feels about where a new WAG building would go if funding were available," Cr Ziegeler said.
"A new building would mean that people could see more of the WAG's permanent collection, there would be a dedicated and appropriately reverent space for Aboriginal art and artefacts and we would also be able to host more visiting exhibitions.
"The value of Warrnambool collection is such that we have to ensure its secure preservation for generations to come.
To find out more and have your say on the WAG, go to www.yoursaywarrnambool.com.au
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