Push for cultural centre
THE community is putting the pressure on Bass Coast Shire Council to revitalise the Cowes Cultural Centre.
Upgrading the centre has been on the cards for some time, and community members are getting tired of waiting.
Groups such as the Phillip Island Arts and Cultural Committee, Phillip Island Community and Learning Centre, and the Phillip Island Tourism and Business Association would get excellent use out of a revitalised cultural centre.
“In Cowes, there are no facilities to promote events. There’s no performance space. The completion of the detailed design should’ve put Bass Coast in a strong position to appeal for a grant,” arts and cultural committee president Anne Davie said.
“We are mindful of council’s election promise to be more fiscally responsible, but this centre will enhance tourism in the area.”
The community and learning centre manager Linda Morrison said a revamped cultural centre would become a vibrant part of the community.
“At the moment, we are operating from a building made of asbestos. As Phillip Island grows, we need to grow to meet demand,” she said.
“At the centre, we have more than 450 people come in per week. We can have 46 activities running at a time. We provide an essential service, and we need a learning centre that is functional and mirrors the aspirations of the community.”
Tourism and business association president Lois Gaskin supported the importance of the centre.
“We’ve seen no progress, and we can’t allow opportunities to pass again. We’ve seen how many groups will benefit, and that it will be long term investment for council. This centre would be a great legacy to pass on to the future generations,” she said.
Ms Davie said it was time for council to make a move.
“The community has been through this exercise too many times. A total of $600,000 has been spent with no outcome,” she said.
“With an attractive design, the centre would attract locals and visitors. It will address social disadvantage, provide education opportunities and increase disabled access. It will encourage people to stay longer and it would bring a new energy to Cowes. A commitment from council would be an indication that Phillip Island and Bass Coast has a council that’s confident about the future.”
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