To stay or relocate? That is the question when it comes to a new art gallery for Warrnambool and the council is being proactive about plans to move the project forward.
A public forum will be held next month to gauge public opinion on two site options for a new gallery which The Standard revealed in April would cost about $40 million.
However, Warrnambool City Council said funding for the project - which would be one of the biggest undertaken by council - would come from external sources.
A whole new facility overlooking the foreshore at Cannon Hill was the preferred option in feasibility plans drawn up for the council.
The alternate option of rebuilding a whole new facility complete with an architectural "wow" factor on the current site would be about $1 million more.
The options will be discussed at a forum at the Lighthouse Studio on Tuesday, July 5 from 7pm to 8.30pm and there was also an option for people to have their say online.
Warrnambool mayor Vicki Jellie said a new gallery building was needed because the one at the Civic Green did not meet current standards or requirements to appropriately store and exhibit its permanent collection and unique collection of Aboriginal artefacts and art work.
"Modern galleries have the potential to drive visitation and become a regional destination," Cr Jellie said.
"While this is a longer-term plan and one that will be funded through external avenues, we need to plan for the right facility in order to be ready for funding opportunities when they arise.
"We have a wonderful permanent collection and a wealth of talent in our arts community - we need to plan for the right facility to support the art, artists and to be an economic driver."
Cr Jellie said the council needed to hear from the community about what the advantages and disadvantages of each site were.
"A new building would mean that people could see more of the WAG's permanent collection, there would be a dedicated space for Aboriginal art and artefacts and we would also be able to meet the requirements for hosting more visiting exhibitions," she said.
Or to have your say online go to www.yoursaywarrnambool.com.au
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