GREATER collaboration with traditional owners and improved accessibility are just a couple of projects that can finally go ahead after the Castlemaine Art Museum received $6 million in funding in Tuesday's Victorian state budget.
Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards visited the museum on Thursday to make the announcement with museum director Naomi Cass.
Ms Cass said the museum would be undertaking several improvement projects with the multi-million dollar funding.
"Disability access is absolutely vital," she said.
"Of course there will also be repairs to the exterior of the building and some climate control upgrades.
"This means the museum can progress to the next stage."
The funding will go towards completing stage one works to improve safety and security at the museum and to undertake planning and design work for stage two.
Ms Cass said the ultimate goal was to attract more visitors to the central Victorian town.
"If you look at the program of exhibitions that are already on the calendar it's pretty remarkable," she said.
"We're also really keen to pursue a greater relationship with our local First Nations group - the Dja Dja Wurrung.
"I think there is a real need to display and recognise our local indigenous artwork at the Castlemaine Art Museum."
Maree Edwards said the tourism it would bring would be "game changing".
"Already the museum is a huge attraction to this region as aprt of the creative industries that we know are very influential to Castlemaine," she said.
Ms Edwards said the climate control issues at the museum meant they had been limited in the exhibitions they could bring to the region.
"This means they'll be able to have more exhibitions, more storage space and importantly: disabled access," she said.
The access to the Castlemaine Art Museum currently does not allow people in wheelchairs or with walking frames to enter.
"This is a really important upgrade for that, which will add some additional facilities, but the main part of the funding at this stage is to improve what is already here."
Ms Edwards said funding discussions with the state government began almost two years ago.
"It has been some time in the making but the reality is the work with the board and directors has been essential in coming up with a plan to know exactly what is required to get the gallery back to a state where it can provide access for everyone and improve the exterior," she said.
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