VICTORIAN premier Daniel Andrews took a tour of the nearly-completed Ulumbarra Theatre yesterday.
Mr Andrews last visited the site about 18 months ago when it was not much more than an old jail and building site.
"It was a dusty and dirty building site but the vision was so impressive at the time," he said.
"At the time I was told and promised there would be a magical marrying together of an old, historically significant building with the best of modern architecture and that is what has happening. It is no small feat."
Mr Andrews congratulated City of Great Bendigo mayor Peter Cox and his team on their efforts and said the Ulumbarra project was an example of politics working at its best.
"This is governments of all levels working together with a common vision to really deliver what is not only an impressive facility but one that is going to works so very well," Mr Andrews said.
This is governments of all levels working together with a common vision.Daniel Andrews
As well as hosting a range of artistic and cultural events, Ulumbarra will also have educational aspects for Bendigo Seniors Secondary College.
"Bendigo Senior Secondary is one of our state's biggest schools and the new Ulumbarra Theatre will sit at the very heart of its modern curriculum. This is the future of education in Victoria," Mr Andrews said.
"This is a place for young people to learn, a place for arts and culture to thrive and a place locals will come to love."
As well as enjoying the chance to get a sneak peek of Ulumbarra, Mr Andrews said his visit was a chance to thank the people who have worked hard on bringing the project to life.
"To everybody involved in making this vision come together I want to say well done," he said.
"All the tradies, men and women who made it possible should be so very proud.
"It's one thing to talk a good game but to deliver is a good deal harder.
"It sets Bendigo up for an even stronger cultural and artistic offering."
"(The project) also protects and breathes new life into the heritage of this city and this space."