Bendigo stage talks progress

A PROPOSAL to establish a permanent stage in Bendigo’s CBD is gaining momentum.

Bendigo Blues & Roots Festival organiser Colin Thompson believes a permanent performance facility, ideally in Rosalind Park, would reduce the costs of putting on performances and revitalise Bendigo’s arts and music scene.

The Rotary Club of Bendigo has been putting money aside for the project since 2009 after identifying the need and benefits of having a permanent stage in the park.

Bendigo Community Telco chief executive officer Philip Lazenby said his company would also put money towards the stage.

A local committee has been set up to develop a cost plan, possible designs and an outline of the stage’s use to present to the council hopefully in the next three months.

Rotary Club of Bendigo president Brian Figg said the club was engaging with interested individuals and businesses. 

“It is early stages but it’s certainly a project that the club has the vision to make happen,” he said.

“The club has already started putting aside funds for our contribution.

“When we get a little more of a concrete proposal we’ll start to talk to the council.”

Mr Lazenby said creating a permanent stage would bring many benefits, including reducing assembly and generator costs and lessening damage to the park. 

“It’s a massive job to put a stage up. You have to rely on generous sponsors (and) there is no permanent power.”

He said the group still had a lot to explore before the idea became a reality.

“We have formed local committee to investigate the benefits and costs... and why the first one was removed,” he said.

“We want to form a good plan before we take it to the council... (and) we will then find out where the council sits and start fund-raising and looking at grants.”

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