School of Mines envisioned site of $3-million arts hub in Bendigo

The School of Mines building on McCrae Street is the proposed home of a $3-million arts hub lauded as a “game-changer” for the city’s creative professionals.

Representatives from Creative Victoria and Regional Development Victoria were in Bendigo last night to announce their plans for a co-working arts space inside the building, part of which is occupied by the Bendigo Kangan institute.

A six-month consultation, said to have involved about 30 arts leaders in Bendigo, determined an arts hub in Bendigo would offer professional development opportunities for the region’s creative businesses. 

It will offer those working in the arts an opportunity to network and collaborate.

It will not focus on artistic development.

Nine different buildings were considered before consultation firm Left Bank landed on the historic site.

Also considered was Morley’s Emporium and Building K, another space belonging to the TAFE facility. 

The consultation process also determined the space should be operated independently of major Bendigo bodies, including the council and the Bendigo Art Gallery. 

Representatives from the City of Greater Bendigo, The Capital and the small business sector were among the 50 people to attend the information session.

It comes more than 14 months after the project was first announced, part of the state government’s Creative State arts policy.

Also part of the package was a year-long Centre of Culture program that will see Bendigo and the Mount Alexander Shire Council host the 2018 Artlands conference as well as the commission of new works.