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Arts blueprint

18 Sep 2012

An overall vision of Southbank’s Arts Precinct is to be developed, trying to capture as much public interest in the area as possible.

The plan is centred on the existing infrastructure rather than developing new buildings and will utilise street and public spaces, giving the area a common feel.

The Premier and Minister for the Arts, Ted Baillieu, announced the blueprint last month and said the idea was on the back of the money spent on arts infrastructure in the area over the past couple of decades.

“Over the past two decades there’s been a major investment in cultural infrastructure in Melbourne, with a strong focus on the Southbank Precinct and neighbouring Federation Square,” Mr Baillieu said.

“This has given us the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, a redeveloped NGV on St Kilda Road, Federation Square, ACMI, the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne Recital Centre and the MTC Theatre, and of course, the newly redeveloped Hamer Hall.”

Mr Baillieu said these improvements had made the precinct a “unique hotbed of arts, creativity and performance excellence”.

“We’re keen to see this reflected in the streets and outdoor public spaces, making it a welcoming and vibrant place, day and night,” Mr Baillieu added.

The plan will also be mindful of the growing residential population in and around the arts precinct, with Mr Baillieu saying: “As a growing residential area and arts, recreation and tourism drawcard, the blueprint will focus on improving liveability, accessibility and public amenity.”

“(The blueprint will be) creating a vibrant and active street life and better integrating and connecting our iconic cultural institutions – with the CBD, with business and residents, and with each other.”

Work has already begun on the blueprint, which has been led by Arts Victoria, in partnership with the City of Melbourne and University of Melbourne.

A cultural facilities audit and transport and mobility study have been undertaken and the next step will be to include stakeholder consultations, plus involvement from the community.

“The evolution of the Southbank Arts Precinct reflects the growth and maturity of Melbourne’s cultural life, and is the result of investment by successive Victorian governments over 50 years,” Mr Baillieu said.

“This blueprint represents a long-term plan that will help pave the way for the next 50 years and beyond.”

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